Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa to Replace Parking Garage

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma State University Medical Center in Tulsa to Replace Parking Garage

Article excerpt

OSU Medical Center will replace its aging parking garage with an $8.7 million, three-story unit carved into the hillside.

The 331-bed downtown Tulsa hospital acquired its current steel and concrete garage from Southwest Airlines in 1976, importing the superstructure from Dallas' Love Field after years of service there.

"It was always a very practical but a somewhat unsightly opening to our campus," said OSU Medical Center CEO Jan Slater, who unveiled the construction plans Tuesday morning during a Tulsa Metro Chamber Health Care Forum.

Replacing the garage not only removes a campus blemish, but it visibly demonstrates to passersby the wave of operational improvements that have dramatically changed the former Tulsa Regional Medical Center since Tulsa's OSU Medical Center Trust acquired the complex in May 2009.

To revitalize the teaching hospital drained through years of handling a growing indigent care load with little outside support, the trust launched a $25 million, two-phase project that renovated and expanded the Wound Care, Emergency, Cardiology and Interventional Radiology departments while upgrading and replacing millions of dollars in aging campus infrastructure and equipment.

Another round remains under development for the roughly 600,000- square-foot hospital, including a prime makeover of its infant delivery wing and creation of a concierge floor of private patient rooms.

That's one reason why Slater welcomes the garage project, which will renew both the hospital's image and a key campus facility.

"We've been making so many improvements internally that anyone who drives by will have no knowledge of," she said. "This will be really the first transformative change to the campus that anyone that drives by will see."

While the garage's steel superstructure remains in good shape, Slater said the worn concrete must be replaced. After considering several alternatives, the OSU Medical Center Trust decided on a plan developed by Davies Architects of Tulsa to take down the old garage and build a new one connected to the 1,000-employee hospital's east entrance.

Tulsa-based Flintco will excavate beneath the existing parking layers so that the new garage's top level will line up with that entrance. Lower levels will have elevator access to the campus.

"The first level will be partly covered, partly open," Slater said. "And then we will have two levels above that.

"The first level will enter from Houston (Street)," she said in an interview after her presentation. "The second level you'll enter from 11th Street. The top level will be at the level of the front door of the east entrance."

Slater said she expects to have the total package completed within a year. Its start awaits relocation of a 30-inch Tulsa water line - an effort Slater hopes may evolve into relocation or burial of other utility lines serving that area. …

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