Schenectady County

Ellis looks up to add parking

Ellis Hospital wants to add parking in the only place it has left: Up.

This story has been updated to correct the location of the expanded parking garage.

Ellis Hospital wants to add parking in the only place it has left: Up.

Hospital officials have filed plans with the city asking for permission to add two levels to a parking garage to be built on Rosa Road.

The new levels would bring the total to 420 spaces.

The extra-tall garage, at 58 feet, requires a waiver from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The project has been on Ellis’ dream list since its Emergency Department construction project began. But the hospital didn’t have enough room in the budget for it, said spokesman Matt Van Pelt.

Then, construction and demolition of some old parts of the hospital came in under budget, giving the hospital enough money for the garage.

“We avoided unforeseen costs in demolition and foundation work, so we had the room in the budget,” Van Pelt said.

Spaces for patients

Hospital employees won’t get to enjoy the roomier garage, however.

“This was to address the demand we anticipate from our patients,” Van Pelt said. “This is just for our patients and their families to use.”

Some employees had been allowed to park in the garage before the construction project began. When they were told they had to move to the hospital’s off-site parking lots, some tried to park at adjacent Sunnyview Rehabilitation.

That hospital posted notices in the shared hallway that runs between the two facilities, and then posted letters on individual cars. Finally, it got the employees’ attention when it towed some cars away.

If the garage expansion is approved, it would be done by July 2014, Van Pelt said.

The entire Emergency Department project is slated to be complete by January 2015.

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