Aspen Valley Hospital hosts meetings on expansion |

Aspen Valley Hospital hosts meetings on expansion

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy Aspen Valley Hospital

ASPEN – Aspen Valley Hospital will host three public meetings next week on a planned expansion that would roughly triple the size of the existing facility by the time it’s complete.

Hospital officials hope to begin construction of phase 2 of the expansion this fall; that part of the project will go before the Aspen City Council on June 7.

The expansion is outlined in a master facilities plan that will be the focus of the informational meetings, scheduled Thursday, May 27, at 5:30 p.m., and Friday, May 28, at 7:30 a.m. and again at noon. All of the sessions will take place in the Oden Conference Center at AVH.

Phase 1 of the facilities plan, the expansion and renovation of the AVH obstetrical unit, was completed in 2008. Final approval of phase 2 won Planning and Zoning Commission approval in April, advancing to City Council review next month.

The second phase of the expansion is the largest of the three remaining phases. It includes creating a new wing of patient rooms, plus office space for physicians, providing new space for cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy, and relocating the cafeteria. Construction of a parking garage and 22 employee units to the north of the existing hospital is also part of phase 2. A new, east-side entrance would access the patient rooms, medical offices and relocated cafeteria, among other areas.

The existing one-story building would be expanded both outward and upward, to two stories, with the planned expansion. It would also go from about 70,000 square feet to roughly 210,000 square feet, plus a separate, 80,000-square-foot parking garage, by the time the final phase is complete. In all, the remaining phases are expected to cost in excess of $100 million. No cost estimate for phase 2 specifically is yet available.

The present hospital was built in 1977. Health care delivery has changed since then, with a shift from inpatient to outpatient care, additional services and a focus on privacy, noted CEO David Ressler. The Aspen hospital’s shared patient rooms are out of date, say hospital officials.

With the next phase, the 25-bed hospital will gain the capability for 39 patient rooms – all of them private. In addition, two of the hospital’s busiest outpatient departments will be expanded.

“Phase 2 is a critical component of the four-phase project,” said Ressler in a hospital press release. “We address many of the patient privacy and comfort issues that challenge us on a daily basis in our 1970s building.”

The medical office space will allow physicians with active hospital practices to move to the hospital campus; offices will be leased at fair market prices, according to AVH.

“This phase of the project is moving from concept to reality, and we really want to encourage members of the community to come out and see what is planned,” Ressler said.

Building and site plans, and architectural renderings will be shown at the informational meetings, and Ressler and architect Russ Sedmak of Heery and Associates will lead a question-and-answer session.

A light meal will be served at the sessions, so those planning to attend should RSVP by calling 544-1296.