Prescription for construction success at Akron Children’s Hospital

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – The dust is flying on Market St. at Akron Children’s Hospital. An $18 million construction project is right on schedule to open next summer.

“What we see, we think it’s gonna work great,” said Lisa Taafe, the clinical administrative director at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The construction project was controversial last fall, but the issues have gone away. This project was supposed to start in October, but was delayed over concerns from neighbors who live along Romaine Ave.

In October, WYTV reported on their questions about a parking lot being put underneath high tension wires. That idea also caught the attention of the zoning appeals board.

“They decided they weren’t allowed to build underneath the wires,” said Ed Wallace of Romaine Ave. “So they changed their plans and built out front. As far as we know, everything turned out good for everybody.”

The new designs worked because the hospital sent its architects back to the drawing board and then met with the neighbors before re-submitting the plans to the zoning board.

“They appreciated the way the hospital listened to them, and met with them and heard their concerns,” said John Shultz, a Boardman Township Zoning Appeals board member.

So now the plan is to put parking in front of the building, and the hospital will have a new main entrance.

“I think we’ve done a nice job notifying the public, employees, patients and families that parking is about 80 yards south of the original parking,” Taafe said.

The construction will combine Akron Children’s Services farther down Market St. into one campus, making it easier for families to receive care for all their needs in one place.

“Turned out good for the hospital, turned out good for us. It looks nice and the neighborhood is happy,” Wallace said.

The new hospital addition is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.

A time lapse video is available to see the construction that has taken place so far at the hospital.

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