Planning Commission considers big hospital upgrades

Lauren Steinheimer

Two major upgrade projects for Mercy Medical Center are up for approval at Mount Shasta’s Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday evening, Nov. 17.

One project will more than double the size of the emergency room and remodel the majority of the existing emergency department.

The other adds a patient drop-off canopy and driveway extension to the covered walkway leading from the parking lot to the hospital entrance.

A staff report by City Planner Kristen Maze describes the emergency room expansion project as adding approximately 2,900 square feet of new service space to the hospital’s emergency department, which currently occupies 2,000 square feet. Of the existing 2,000 square feet, 1,400 will be remodeled.

The upgraded emergency department plans include a private admitting area, triage area, centralized nurse station, two private treatment rooms, two trauma beds and a waiting area.

The hospital facility was built in 1976, and the emergency department was renovated in 2003. Only the first phase of a planned two-phase construction plan was completed, making the space less than optimal for patient care, the report states.

Timeline for the emergency room project estimates construction to begin in spring 2017.

The proposed 813 square foot patient drop-off canopy will extend in-line from the covered walkway leading from the hospital entrance to the parking lot.

It will shelter a one-way driveway wide enough to accommodate two cars. This will allow for vehicles to pass by parked vehicles as they load or unload patients.

Maze’s report states the addition will necessitate the removal of one parking space and two full-grown trees.

A slight surplus of parking spaces on the hospital campus allows for the loss of one space to accommodate the new patient drop-off area. The new driveway will require an additional point of exit onto Pine Street.

“The loss of the trees is unfortunate but outweighed by the public benefit of a covered drop-off area serving the hospital,” the report states.