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Planning Underway for Mount Carmel West Campus in Franklinton

Brent Warren Brent Warren Planning Underway for Mount Carmel West Campus in FranklintonRenderings provided by Mount Carmel.
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Mount Carmel Health Systems announced a plan last year to transfer inpatient operations from their Franklinton hospital to a new one to be built in Grove City. Along with that announcement came a promise to invest time and money into creating a new Mount Carmel West Campus, with an expanded College of Nursing and opportunities for private development on the adjoining land.

That process began earlier this year, with a series of meetings with area residents and neighborhood leaders.

“The goal is to leverage work that has already been done, like the West Franklinton and East Franklinton plans,” said Mount Carmel Director of External Affairs Jason Koma. “We want to be a part of the positive momentum and hope that the new West Campus can be a catalyst for a lot of the exciting changes that are happening in Franklinton.”

Conceptual renderings and a site map presented by Mount Carmel offer some ideas for what the campus could look like. The existing emergency department building would remain in the center of the site (and would continue to provide emergency services), while most of the hospital buildings surrounding it would be demolished.

The primary opportunities for new development are the former Graham Ford Site – which has not sold since the dealership closed in 2008 – and Hartford Avenue between Broad Street and Town Street. The parking lots along Hartford are owned by Mount Carmel, and one concept shows the street transformed into a tree-lined residential boulevard.

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Koma stressed that Mount Carmel will not be doing everything itself — partnerships with developers, social service organizations, and others will be key to the project.

“We’ve come to realize that we understand healthcare delivery, and there are lots of other experts that will be part of process and will help us implement a shared vision,” he said. “It’s early in the process… right now we have a full service hospital on the site, and we will continue to have that there up until late 2018.”

That’s the year when the new seven-story Grove City hospital is scheduled to open, so the physical transformation of the campus wouldn’t begin until 2019 at the earliest, although new programming is already being offered at 777 West State Street.

“In that building, you’re already seeing the building blocks of a transformed campus,” said Koma, citing the new Healthy Living Center and partnerships with Local Matters, Gladden Community House, and others.

Mount Carmel has committed to spend $46 million dollars on the new campus, about $11 million of which would be for the demolition of existing buildings.

Jim Sweeney, Executive Director of the Franklinton Development Association, who has been involved in early discussions about the campus, struck a note of cautious optimism about the project.

“This feels like it needs to be a long, thorough process,” he said. “But I’m hopeful that the eventual reuse of the campus will be a net gain for the community.”

Renderings provided by Mount Carmel.

For more information, visit www.mountcarmelhealth.com/transformationwest.

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