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Mercy Edmond I-35’s 50,182-square-foot addition will house a new primary care clinic and emergency care facility at a site near its current wellness center, south of 15th Street on the west side of the interstate. [DRAWING PROVIDED]

Mercy Edmond I-35’s 50,182-square-foot addition will house a new primary care clinic and emergency care facility at a site near its current wellness center, south of 15th Street on the west side of the interstate. [DRAWING PROVIDED]

Mercy expanding

Mercy Edmond I-35 plans to add a 50,182-square-foot addition to house a new primary care clinic and emergency care center.

The addition will be located near the site of its current wellness center, south of 15th Street and on the west side of the interstate.

The $30 million expansion project will be constructed on about 9.21 acres.

Planning commissioners this week recommended rezoning the property south of the existing Mercy Edmond I-35 center from single-family residential to a planned unit development.

City council members are expected to make a final decision on rezoning the property at a Sept. 11 meeting.

City Planner Randy Entz said the building will be split level to match existing topography and be located more than 300 feet from the west property line.

No opponents to the new project appeared at this week's planning commission meeting.

In January, city council members denied plans for a free-standing emergency room at Mercy Edmond I-35.

Nearby homeowners complained about additional noise they anticipated would be coming from the proposed one-story building with eight examination rooms and a trauma room, which would have been open 24 hours a day.

To help reduce any noise, delivery and trash pickup hours have been restricted to hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Incoming ambulances will turn off their sirens once they enter the property.

Mercy officials expect 95 percent of the patients will be able to walk into the emergency care center. They project, with the on-site emergency care, it will decrease fire department ambulance calls.

A helipad is not requested for the site.

"We spent the last several months listening to the neighbors," said Ryan Bader, Mercy Health System's director of planning.

The site will maintain a minimum 150-foot tree buffer to the west and a 300-foot buffer from the west property line to the building.

The new Level One will be dedicated to the primary care clinic, which will provide space for up to 30 providers.

The lower level will offer full-service emergency care with 24-hours-a-day access.

The emergency care center will be buried in the topography of the design to protect neighbors behind the facility, Mercy officials said.

About 300 people are employed at the site, with a projected workforce approaching 500.

Mercy's investment in existing facilities and new construction plans represents more than $110 million along I-35.

New OnCue

Edmond's newest OnCue, located at 15th Street and Interstate 35, is planning to open on Sept. 15. The 6,650-square-foot store will have 12 pumps. It will feature a drive-thru, specialty coffees and an expanded variety of fresh foods, said Laura Aufleger, OnCue vice president of corporate communications.

New branch

Communication Federal Credit Union, one of Oklahoma's largest credit unions, broke ground this week for a branch location at Interstate 35 and 15th Street to serve east Edmond and surrounding areas. The new branch will feature a service-oriented design, a multi-lane drive-thru, drive-up ATM and safe deposit boxes. Communication Federal expects the branch to be operational in the first quarter of 2018.

It's a fact

Edmond distributed 160 rain barrels and five compost bins in 2016. This year Edmond distributed 131 rain barrels and 59 compost bins. A date for the 2018 program hasn't been scheduled at this time. The items were available through a partnership with Upcycle Products and Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance.

What's happening

Edmond City Council will hold a water resource recovery facility workshop to discuss expansion and financing at 3:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.

Need answers?

Reader Steve Goss asked: "My family recently moved into the Fox Lake neighborhood so we are really excited about the Spring Creek Trail. Have you heard anything about the timeline for the Spring Creek Trail completion as well as the trail linking Fox Lake Lane?"

Assistant City Manager Steve Commons answered: "The periodic rains we are receiving are affecting the finish work on the project. We should be done in early October with the Spring Creek Trail. We are working with the state on the other trail connection to Fox Lake Lane and I do not have their timetable firmed up at this time."

Reader Judy Reichardt asked: "My question is when will, or if, streetlights and signal lights be placed on the on- and off-ramps of Interstate 35 going to Covell Road? It is so dark there at night, it is really dangerous. Hoping for some updates and safety updates in place soon."

City Engineer Steve Manek answered: "The on- and off-ramps at Covell and I-35 are not owned by the city of Edmond. Those are under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, so the city does not have any plans to put up lights to light the ramps."

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Public Information Manager Lisa Shearer-Salim answered: "Municipalities maintain streetlights and traffic signals on the state highway system within their jurisdictions. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation regularly receives requests from cities for streetlights and traffic signals. The city of Edmond would need to request a traffic study by the transportation department to see if traffic signals or lighting are warranted at this location. Traffic signal warrants are based on several factors including traffic volumes, turning movements and accident rates. Streetlight requests are evaluated on the number of historical nighttime accidents on the corridor and whether that number can be corrected by adding lighting."

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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