Source: Courier-Post Online
Kennedy Health System wants to transform and expand its Cherry Hill hospital, a $55 million plan already drawing praise from local officials. If approved, the construction project could start before the end of the year, hospital officials said Wednesday.
Cherry Hill council members on Monday will vote on final approval for a redevelopment plan for the site at Chapel Avenue and Cooper Landing Road, township spokeswoman Bridget Palmer said. The vote will follow a public hearing. “It’s going to reinvent the entire hospital campus,” Palmer said of the makeover.
Kennedy plans to construct a 102,000-square-foot medical office building to replace an outdated 24,000-square-foot structure that now houses doctors’ offices and a sleep center. The enlarged outpatient pavilion will include medical offices, lab services and a rehabilitation program. The proposal also calls for an enclosed parking garage and an atrium lobby.
The plans grew out of a regional community needs assessment completed last year, said Lisa Morina, Kennedy’s vice president of government and external relations. “Part of our vision for this campus is to respond to the changing needs of health care in the community, and how health care is delivered.”
“Ultimately, these renovations are going to help to bring a landmark facility into the 21st century and give our community access to state-of-the-art, modern, hospital-based health care right here in our backyard,” Palmer said.
Council members previously approved a resolution that designated the hospital campus as an area in need of rehabilitation. The designation, which covers more than 24 acres, provides a tool “to encourage redevelopment and reinvestment in a community,” Palmer said. She said the designation will allow the creation of “an overlay zone on the Kennedy campus with some site-specific development regulations that will help the process to move forward more efficiently.”
“Hospital design standards have evolved significantly from the multi-patient occupancy room currently existing at Kennedy University Hospital to a single-patient room standard,” said the report, which was approved by the planning board Aug. 4. “Redevelopment would allow renovation of existing structures to a current appropriate design and use.”
“In addition, we find that rehabilitation would be expected to prevent further deterioration and promote the overall development of the community.”