New Inpatient Building: Trading UVM Beds for Hospital Beds

By Christine Souders |

Published 09/02 2014 10:37PM

Updated 09/02 2014 11:13PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Will they get the go ahead from the city of Burlington to add a new inpatient building?

That's what Fletcher Allen Health Care is waiting to find out.

Fletcher Allen Health Care needs the necessary zoning permits approved by the Burlington Development Review Board to move forward with the plans.

Hospital Officials went over the final plans to build a new 4 story in-patient building at Tuesday night's public hearing.

"128 beds that we want to create with this project will allow us to move from about 40 percent single rooms now to closer to 90 percent which is a good goal," David Keelty, Director of Facilities, Planning and Development at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

The blueprints show separate entrances for UVM and the hospital off of Colchester Avenue, a sky bridge connecting the current hospital to the new addition, and additional parking to make room for six more ambulances which they currently don't have room for.

But it's UVM beds or hospital beds.

To create space UVM would tear down three dorms.

Students would lose 391 bed.

"All 391 beds in question will be for juniors and seniors who already have a choice of where they want to live," said a UVM Spokesperson.

Board members had a few other concerns.

It's expected to take 3 years to build, so what will happen during construction with parking?

"At times we may have reduced parking. We will have valet service in place to pick up patients vehicles," said David Keelty.

And how will Fletcher Allen handle access to the emergency room?

"We're going to maintain a 24/7, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week access to the emergency department. It's be a phased logistic plan, so we'll be moving access points, moving traffic, we'll have additional security," said Keelty.

Fletcher Allen Health Care Planners said this will improve the quality of a patient's stay at the hospital.

Some of rooms now are older then 60 years, and are often crowded and have double beds.

The board decides next Monday.

Construction is planned for Fall 2015 with completion in Fall 2018

UVM officials said even without the dorms they would be meeting the number of beds required by the city of Burlington.

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