St. Mary’s planned addition clears another hurdle
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent April 8, 2013 10:58AM
Updated: April 8, 2013 10:58AM
HOBART — St. Mary Medical Center is moving along with its plans to build a $40 million, two-story surgical pavilion addition in late summer.
The medical center received one needed approval Thursday, when the plan commission OK’d an amendment to the center’s planned unit development to allow up to a four-story addition.
Donald Torrenga, of Torrenga Engineering, in Munster, said he will return to next month’s commission meeting for site plan approval for the project. At that time, the commission will discuss utility lines that will need to be rerouted around the site of the new building, he said.
The proposed 62,000-square-foot addition would extend west from the hospital at its main Hobart campus, 1500 S. Lake Park Ave.
The first floor will be 32,000 square feet and will include 12 large surgical suites, four minor procedure rooms, a post-anesthesia care unit, a same-day surgery area, a recovery unit, a central sterilization department and a surgical family lounge.
The second floor will feature 20 private intensive care unit beds over nearly 21,000 square feet plus another 10,000 square feet of mechanical space.
There were no objections to the project during a public hearing Thursday, and no questions from plan commissioners.
“Obviously, this was your vision for St. Mary’s years ago. It looks like a marvelous addition,” commission chairman and Councilman John Brezik, D-5th, said.
Hospital spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said the addition will replace the current surgical department intensive-care unit with expanded, technologically advanced features. She said there should be no disruption in the surgical and intensive-care units during construction.
Fetsch said St. Mary would like to add two more floors in the future, each of which would have 20 private inpatient rooms.
“There’s a greater demand for monitored beds,” she said.
Torrenga also said that even with the addition, there will be sufficient handicapped-parking spaces to comply with a city ordinance.