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Parkview to tear down Randallia garage

150-car parking lot in its place; the next to go: English Hall

Parkview Health is demolishing two buildings on its Randallia campus, part of a $2 million to $2.5 million project that will ultimately result in 300 fewer parking spaces.

On Aug. 16, the three-story parking garage along Randallia Drive will close. Two days later, preparations will begin to tear down the 450-space structure and the building beside it, the three-story English Hall. The latter was formerly used for nursing classes.

The garage will be replaced by a 150-space surface parking lot, Parkview spokesman Eric Clabaugh said. Plans call for the English Hall ground to become green space.

It would have cost too much for the Fort Wayne-based nonprofit to renovate the two structures to bring them up to standards, he said.

A study found that patients' and staff's parking needs can be adequately met with fewer spaces, in part, because more people are using parking lots on the east side of the campus, Clabaugh said. Since the opening of Parkview Regional Medical Center, patient and staff numbers are somewhat lower at Randallia, he said.

Another factor is that people who come to the campus for doctors' appointments occupy parking spaces for shorter periods of time than inpatients did when the hospital's bed count was higher, he said.

Parkview officials will make an announcement in coming weeks or months about a larger plan for the Randallia campus, Clabaugh said. He declined to share details or dollar values, calling it premature in the planning process.

The Randallia campus was Parkview's primary location until March 2012, when the health care provider opened the $550 million Parkview Regional Medical Center just north of Dupont Road.

When the regional medical center project was announced, some neighbors of the Randallia campus feared it would be abandoned. But since then, Parkview has:

• Invested $3.2 million in upgrades to the campus, including a new entrances, signs, a park and a courtyard

• Invested $3.5 million in the fifth-floor Parkview Continuing Care Center for parents who need to regain strength before going home

• Invested $1 million in a third-floor renovation for Parkview BridegWays, an inpatient treatment center for older adults who need specialized geriatric and psychiatric care

• Leased space to Vibra Hospital, a long-term, acute-care facility inside Parkview Randallia.

All patients and visitors to Parkview Randallia are being urged to use the free, 24-hour valet parking service that will be offered every day during construction.

The project is expected to be completed by early December.

sslater@jg.net

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