The new Washington Adventist will be erected at 12030-12110 Plum Orchard Road - a site within the Westfarm Technology Park that also includes Target, Kohl's and PetSmart locations, in addition to United States Postal Service distribution facility and a Marriott Residence Inn. The location also adjoins nearby residential neighborhoods like Riderwood Village and West Farm. The Citizens Associations of both those developments have lent their approval to the project, as have a number of other local authorities including the Calverton Citizens Association, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and the US Food and Drug Administration, headquartered nearby.
In all, the MCPB received only one complaint from a local resident, out of more than 700 hundred in favor of the project. Jerry and Alice Wahl, residents of nearby Featherwood Street, expressed concern about ambulance and helicopter noise resulting from day-to-day hospital activities. However, AHI’s stated intention is to impact the community as little as possible, and, in the areas that it does, for the change to be nothing short of positive.
At present, AHI plans to build the facility in two phases with four overlapping sub-phases. The first such phase is set to include construction of the main 7-story, 500,083 square foot main hospital building and emergency room; a 2-story, 60,888 square foot ambulatory care building that will connect with main facility via enclosed pedestrian bridge; and two supporting parking garages on the north and south ends of the site, respectively, for a total of 2136 new parking spaces.
With those primary facilities in place, AHI will then move on to constructing a ground-level helipad; two 100,000 square foot “medical office buildings”; a 9,264 square foot multi-denominational “Faith Center” with amenities including an outdoor plaza, overhead canopies, an arts component, and water features; and finally a lakefront “Healing Garden” to be connected to public walkways and a fitness trail. Per the MCPB’s ruling, the development must feature at least 37-acres of green space – meaning AHI will be preserving as much heavily forested area as possible. Furthermore, in keeping with the eco-centric tone of the Board’s conditional approval, the new Washington Adventist must achieve a LEED certification.
Meanwhile, AHI will continue to use their 13-acre Takoma Park campus as part of the Hospital’s Vision for Expanded Access, which, in short, aims to make healthcare as accessible as possible for Montgomery County residents. In a statement following the ruling, Geoffrey Morgan, Vice President for Expanded Access at Washington Adventist Hospital, said, "The new campus and the future services at our Takoma Park site will allow us to continue our more than 100-year tradition of improving the health and wellness of our communities.” AHI also plans to update the roster of services available at their present location with a new “Village of Health and Well-Being” that will be constructed as other hospital components are demolished or moved off-site.
AHI is currently projecting a 2013 opening for the new facility – a point at which hospital officials expect the new, state-of-the-art Washington Adventist to greatly improve the metro area’s ability to deal with public health crises. The project is being designed by a panel of local architects in order to better serve a variety of medical specifications.