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Vail Valley Medical Center Discusses Expansion With Town

Melanie Wong | The Vail Daily

Board: Vail Town Council.

Present: Jenn Bruno Greg Moffet Margaret Rogers Dave Chapin Dale Bugby Mayor Andy Daly and Ludwig Kurz.

Topic: Vail Valley Medical Center's new master plan.

Who they talked to: Director of health care design with Heery International Russ Sedmak and Vail Valley Medical Center CEO Doris Kirchner.

What they talked about: The hospital is looking to make some big changes by 2018 a project that could include a new floor parking structure and other facility improvements. They presented their idea for the new master plan to the town council and planning and environmental commission for review.

The proposed improvements would include a separate emergency room entrance a new entrance for orthopedic patients a new staff parking structure a fourth floor and new west wing. They also talked about building a new helipad on the roof of the far north corner of the hospital site.

The current helipad site is located between Interstate 70 and South Frontage Road near the Vail municipal building. Hospital officials said the site has some constraints that delay getting patients from the helicopter to the hospital. A roof site would expedite the process they said.

Town officials wanted to know more about the parking plans and how the project would impact the hospital's neighbors. Peter Knobel who owns the Evergreen Lodge said he's worried about the noise from a helicopter landing so close to the hotel.

Another neighbor Merv Lapin who lives across the street from the hospital on Meadow Drive said he was concerned about the flight patterns of the helicopter going over the neighborhood.

“My problem isn't the noise but it's a safety issue” he said.

What's next: The hospital hopes to have its master plan approved by the town within the next few months and have the expansions completed by 2018.*

Please note: Vail Valley Medical Center plans to submit the Master Plan within the next few months at which point the approval process will begin.