By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Staff members at Bristol Hospital will soon have access to more parking.
Last Thursday, hospital officials broke ground on a new 102-space parking area that lies on the 1.46 acre lot on the corners of Brewster Road and the southern portion of Bradley Street. Late last month tree removal began on the site, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The entrance and exit to the parking lot will be on Bradley Street.
Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Hospital, said since he began working at the hospital, parking has always been an issue, calling the project an important step.
Bristol Hospital is the second largest employer in the city.
“This is part of a sequential process we’re going to go through to reorient patients through the front door and decongest the back of the hospital around the ER to make it easier for patients to get parking when they come in for emergency service.”
Funding for the project is covered by a donation made by a family, said Barwis, adding that many people worked hard to make the project a reality, especially the Planning Commission, and other city leaders.
ACG North America is the design builder of the project. Bill Mascetti, president of ACG, said the new lot will turn into a “park” setting, beautifully landscaped. There will be an entrance at Bradley Street, as well as state-of-the-art LED lighting, a user-friendly grade, and an underground storm water management system.
“We’ve been talking about parking solutions on this campus for at least five years…and I’m excited to be here to help deliver that mission,” said Mascetti.
“This is going to be beautiful. Everything is brought up to the highest standard that we can bring to the hospital and the campus.”
In addition, the project involves replanting trees.
“We’re going to make this facility come to life again with green and plantings and restore it almost to the natural beauty it was before we did this,” said Barwis.
John Leone, chairman of Bristol Hospital’s Board of Directors, said building the new parking lot will provide an opportunity to open up some parking areas for customers, calling it a “much needed project.”
“One of the concerns we had at the hospital is parking,” said Leone. “At certain times of the day, it’s hard to get a parking space.”
Leone said Bristol Hospital has experienced a memorable year. Not only did the hospital open its new Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, but it also earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and Certification for its Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Program, as well as Magnet recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center—the highest recognition an organization can receive for nursing care.
“Our growth of the hospital has been remarkable,” said Leone. “We will continue to grow and be everyday extraordinary.”
By LISA CAPOBIANCO