Bassett Begins Community Conversation about Proposed Plans for a Parking Garage

Bassett Medical Center

September 1, 2017

BassettAerial\'06smkrtch02-1.jpgCooperstown, NY, Sept. 1, 2017 – Bassett Medical Center executives held a meeting this week to begin a conversation with neighbors of the hospital campus and Village of Cooperstown leaders about draft plans for a construction project aimed at alleviating a long-standing parking shortage. The plans being considered would also create additional education and clinical space for Bassett Medical Center, a hospital with teaching and research missions in addition to patient care.

The project under consideration was shared Thursday evening, Aug. 31, with Cooperstown village trustees, the mayor and residents whose homes are located along the perimeter of the hospital campus. Bassett is considering construction of a sophisticated and carefully designed multi-purpose building, the foundation of which would be a parking garage, built into a hillside on the south west side of the Cooperstown campus.  The proposed project is in the design review phase now while input is sought from various stakeholders. Once a design is agreed upon, the plans will need to undergo in-depth engineering and environmental reviews as well as public hearings during the Village of Cooperstown’s formal review process.

Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Vance M. Brown, MD, notes, “We are extremely sensitive to the concerns of our neighbors and the Cooperstown community while also cognizant of the difficulties our parking shortage creates on a daily basis for our patients and staff.  We also need additional space to further the hospital’s education and patient care missions. The solution we’re proposing takes all of this into account, and we look forward to engaging in a meaningful dialogue to address concerns and move the resolution of these issues forward.”

In addition to the 200-space parking garage and another 145 spaces in a surface parking lot, current plans propose a 28,000-square-foot, two-story building attached to the parking garage to address the institution’s need for more clinical and education space.  The construction of the garage itself is intentional in its design; by building the garage into a hillside, the structure will be concealed and unobtrusive.

The hospital’s board of directors gave preliminary approval to the multi-purpose construction project, in its draft form, in late July. Final approval of the proposed project is contingent upon cost estimates as well as the outcome of community discussions.

Jonathan Flyte, network vice president of Corporate Support Services and Facilities Planning, says, “The concept we’ve developed using a highly experienced and respected architectural firm, is designed to integrate the new construction with the surrounding environment while still maximizing functional space. Done right, the project will enhance the neighborhood and our patients’ and staff experience.”

As proposed currently, the main entrance to the surface parking lot and parking garage would be from Riverside Drive, which is a cul-de-sac off of Susquehanna Avenue. Two other options for entering and exiting the parking garage in the project’s current design would be through the Beaver Street and Harrison House parking lots.

“This project is an absolute necessity,” says Flyte. “There is no other practical solution that will solve our parking needs. Bassett now handles 700,000 outpatient visits a year, 13,600 hospital admissions annually, and employs over 2,000 on the Cooperstown campus alone. We’ve worked very hard to design a project that will be aesthetically pleasing and minimize any impact on the community, while also allowing Bassett to focus on meeting the health care needs of our patients.”

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