A new employee parking deck to be built over the F Lot will soon make parking easier for employees on the Christiana Hospital campus.
Construction began in early October to add a 420-space deck over the existing F Lot. When completed in June 2016, the finished covered lot with upper deck will nearly double in size, with capacity for 930 employee vehicles.
During construction, employees who typically park in F Lot have several alternatives. A 175-space temporary surface lot — including crosswalk and sidewalk leading to the Women’s building — will open in the front of the campus across from A Lot. Additional spaces have also been created for employees to park in G, K and T lots. Employees who work in certain designated departments will park at the HealthCare Center at Christiana and take a shuttle bus to and from the hospital. Campus shuttles will be added to help employees safely and efficiently reach the hospital entrance from remote lots.
Employees are also encouraged to carpool or to park at Wilmington and ride the shuttle to Christiana Hospital. Students are reminded to park only in Lot T.
“This project adds 420 parking spaces for employees and responds to the need for expanded employee parking on the Christiana Hospital campus,” said Sharon Kurfuerst, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, senior vice president of Health Services Operations. “As an added safety and convenience measure, it places them as close as they can get to the main employee entrance. It also offers, for the first time, covered spaces on the lower level of the parking deck — a particular benefit in inclement weather.
As with any project leading to progress, growing pains are to be expected. The result, however, Kurfuerst assured, will be worth any short-term inconvenience.
From October to mid-December, the foundation for the parking deck will be installed and the lot paved. Deck construction will begin in late February.
During a construction hiatus for winter weather between mid-December and late February, employees may temporarily resume parking in F Lot.
Rise to the challenge
Robert Mulrooney, vice president, Facilities & Services, is confident that Christiana Hospital employees will rise to the challenge, just as their Wilmington Hospital colleagues did a few years ago during the major transformation of that campus. Many parked in an offsite rented lot on Gilpin Avenue and rode shuttles to and from Wilmington Hospital.
“They knew the temporary inconvenience was leading to a long-term solution and that a nice, new garage would be waiting for them at the completion of the project.” he said. “We’ve done this before, and we can do it again.”
Kurfuerst agreed. “This project is in direct response to requests by our employees for more convenient parking on the Christiana Hospital campus. We all recognize that a parking garage can’t go up overnight,” she said. “I am confident that Christiana Care colleagues will pull together during this transformation in a way that continues to provide an exceptional experience for our patients and their families. Quite simply, that is The Christiana Care Way.”
Careful consideration has gone into the planning of this project to lessen disruption during construction. For example, according to Patrick Fugeman, vice president, Design & Construction Services, the employee deck will be constructed with a pre-cast system to minimize construction time, potentially shaving several months over the traditional poured-concrete method.