St. Anthony Hospital is set to move forward with the last phase of a $220 million master plan expansion launched after it agreed to a deal with Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County to retain its historic Midtown campus.
The emergency room and intensive care pavilion, first announced in 2012, was put on hold and redesigned to eliminate two stories of structured parking and allow for easier ambulance access, said Kyle Nondorf, chief operating officer of SMM Healthcare, which owns St. Anthony.
In a presentation to the Downtown Design Review Committee, Rees Associates architect Melanie Compton said the changes include relocating new mechanical systems into other existing space and moving the ambulance entry to Dewey Avenue instead of along NW 10. Compton said a previous design resolution of concerns about noise and vibration will not change.
“In the fall of last year, we met with the architects and the contractor and started to evaluate how to be better stewards of resources and meet our original intent with pavilion,” Nondorf said. “We looked at a redesign that would meet our long-term needs.”
Elimination of the garage dropped the height of the structure, which will be immediately south of Kaiser’s American Bistro, from six to four stories. The change, Nondorf said, provides EMSA with improved access for ambulances. He said the remaining three floors were changed to standardized layouts to improve familiarity with operations for nurses who might switch from one area to another.
A dozen years ago, St. Anthony Hospital officials were contemplating leaving what was then a very different neighborhood littered with flophouses, a motel that was frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers, and abandoned properties that included the landmark Plaza Court Building across the street.
City and county leaders entered into an agreement with the hospital to improve the neighborhood, support a $220 million hospital campus improvement plan, eradicate nuisance properties and improve area streets and sidewalks.
The blight is gone, and the neighborhood is now home to new upscale housing, shops, restaurants, a boutique hotel and soon, new entertainment venues including a bowling alley, live music hall and food court plaza.
Turner Construction is set to start work on the pavilion this summer, with an opening in 2016.
With the completion of the $53 million pavilion, St. Anthony’s campus makeover will total $243 million, exceeding the original plan. St. Anthony and Bone and Joint Hospital employ 2,198 people, and the hospitals received 21,378 inpatient visits last year. Emergency room visits totaled 54,205.
The hospital does not have any other major expansions planned in Midtown, Nondorf said. The current project includes new landscaping and a seating area where the pavilion adjoins Kaiser’s, and the hospital is working with architect Brian Fitzimmons on possible improvements, perhaps including angled parking, on adjoining streets.
“We’re continuing to look at how we can be a better neighbor,” Nondorf said.
In the fall of last year, we met with the architects and the contractor and started to evaluate how to be better stewards of resources and meet our original intent with pavilion. We looked at a redesign that would meet our long-term needs.”
Chief operating officer of SMM Healthcare