August 21, 2014

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Cleveland Clinic presents expansion plan for Avon facility

The Cleveland Clinic announced plans to expand the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

The Cleveland Clinic announced plans to expand the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

AVON — Representatives with the Cleveland Clinic presented their plan to expand the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center off Just Imagine Drive during a Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

The Cleveland Clinic initially announced its plans to expand the center into an inpatient hospital in July, but details of the project were not released.

On Wednesday, Brian Smith, director of strategic project development with the Cleveland Clinic, told the Planning Commission that the clinic plans to add 100 beds to its 190,000-square-foot facility, including a seven-floor bed tower. The expansion represents an addition of approximately 250,000 square feet with 25 to 30 rooms on each floor.

Smith said the Cleveland Clinic has considered an expansion since it opened in December 2011 to provide for Avon’s large population. The clinic recently acquired 31 acres around the current facility for the project.

“We’ve had a great relationship with the city in regards to the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center,” he said.

In the first year the center was open, the Jacobs facility had 320,000 patient visits and performed more than 4,500 outpatient surgeries, according to a release from the clinic.

The current facility has more than 420 full-time employees and includes an outpatient surgery center, an infusion site for chemotherapy, a physical therapy area with two pools and a full-scale imaging center. In total, there are 38 adult and 13 pediatric specialties practiced at the Jacobs facility in addition to family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Although plans have not been finalized for the facility yet, Smith said it will be similar to a community hospital with medical surgery beds. A helipad on the roof of the building will transport patients to a trauma unit.

He expects the additions to be completed in 2016.

The presentation before the Planning Commission on Wednesday was informal because the commission lacked quorum to approve any projects.

City Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said the city is in support of the project, however.

“Obviously, we welcome Phase Two, and we’ll do everything we can to assist them,” he said.

Representatives of the Cleveland Clinic are expected to attend the Planning Commission’s next meeting Dec. 18.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.