Central Baptist Hospital is scheduled to formally break ground Wednesday on a $200 million expansion of its Nicholasville Road complex.
But already, the new building has cost the hospital's employees their on-site parking spaces until a new garage can be constructed.
The project will include a new cancer center with facilities for radiation therapy, chemotherapy and a CyberKnife radiation surgery tool; and a women's center with labor and delivery, surgical and neonatal intensive care facilities. The expansion will also include 40 intensive care beds and 44 private medical surgical beds. While the expansion will not add to the hospital's 383-bed total, it will allow all of the hospital's rooms to be private.
Employees are being shuttled to and from a lot on Lowry Lane near the Walgreens and O'Charleys. Patients and other visitors to the hospital will be offered free valet parking for 150 surface parking spots, even as visitors to the adjoining medical office buildings are now offered valet garage parking.
For parking lots that have limited space but high demand, valet parking is considered more efficient, as valets have a better idea of where to park cars and how to retrieve them quickly.
"That lot in front frees up space for people who will not park in a garage but will valet park," said hospital spokesman Ruth Ann Childers.
That leaves 40 spaces for self-parking for those who decline valet parking; they are in front of Building E. The hospital is also preparing an additional lot that will be available within a few weeks that will have parking for 80 to 100 cars north of Building E.
In addition, Childers said, the old Central Baptist Church entrance that some had used for hospital access will be blocked off. The entrance did not have a traffic light and was not intended as an entrance to the hospital, she said.
The first part of the expansion being built is the five-floor parking garage, which will be topped by two floors of medical office space. The addition will be linked to the hospital via a ground-level walkway.
Central Baptist had considered a new complex in the booming Hamburg corridor, but ultimately decided to make expansion on Nicholasville Road its first priority. The Central Baptist expansion is close to the $762 million UK Hospital now being built; the emergency room of UK's new hospital opened in July.
Central Baptist announced the Nicholasville Road expansion in April. Construction is expected to take two to two-and-a-half years.