Ambulatory care center to go up

Rendering obtained from Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association.

Ashley Goetz

Rendering obtained from Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association.

The University could break ground as early as spring 2009 on a new ambulatory care center on block 12 in Stadium Village. The center is a partnership between Fairview Hospital and University of Minnesota Physicians . Block 12 is currently a University-owned contract parking lot surrounded by Fulton, Ontario, Essex and Erie streets southeast. Russ Williams, vice president of Fairview, said the center will have a number of different clinics in it, along with ambulatory services. While the Fairview community clinics provide primary care such as family practices, internal medicine and pediatrics, the ambulatory care center will provide specialty care, including orthopedics, cancer care and ambulatory, or outpatient, surgery. The center will also be a learning site for the UniversityâÄôs Academic Health Center. Williams said the two main focuses for the center will be to provide a better experience for patients and a better space for education. Williams said patients will likely have a quicker trip to the center, given its location off Huron Boulevard and Interstate Highway 94, whereas they would previously have gone to the Phillips-Wangensteen Building farther into campus. The program calls for a five-story building, with one story underground for parking, which will hold more than 200 vehicles. Orlyn Miller , director of University Capital Planning and Project Management , said the center will provide growth space for the other clinics on campus. âÄúThis is just providing more updated, expanded clinic spaces to better serve the growing demands of the population,âÄù Miller said. Rebekah Lorence has lived across the street from the block 12 lot on the 600 block of Erie Street Southeast for 43 years. Lorence was at the September Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association meeting where University representatives revealed plans for the center. Lorence is frustrated, she said, that the neighborhood wasnâÄôt contacted before Fairview decided on the buildingâÄôs size and exterior design, though Williams said neither of these elements have been finalized. She said some PPERRIA members have written to Fairview to give them flak and express hope that they will be consulted about further changes. Lorence also said sheâÄôs concerned that the University is over-extending its boundaries and was not surprised by the decision to build on block 12. âÄúIt is disheartening and frustrating for people that own in the area,âÄù she said. âÄúYou just get the feeling that they donâÄôt care and they donâÄôt take seriously that theyâÄôre encroaching on people that have lived there for decades.âÄù The UniversityâÄôs boundaries were already a topic of concern for Lorence and others in the Prospect Park neighborhood. âÄúRight now they have no boundaries, because they already broke the agreement to move beyond Oak Street,âÄù Lorence said. Miller said boundaries change over time and that there are no officially agreed-upon boundaries for the UniversityâÄôs expansion. He also said the UniversityâÄôs future expansion needs would include areas east of Oak Street toward Huron and north of Fulton Street.