Madison Health is making way for its expansion project this week — literally.
Crews will tackle the first phase of the tree removal project this week, according to Bob Waldeck, the hospital’s vice president of strategy and construction management.
About 25 trees will be removed before the end of March. Another 25 or so will be removed later this year.
Among the trees that will be removed is the large Evergreen in the hospital’s front lawn. In the past, it’s been decorated for Christmas. However, the tree is dying, Waldeck noted.
Once the trees are moved out, work can begin to move utilities and start building the pad for the addition.
The timeline is to avoid a conflict with Indiana Bats, an endangered species that likes to make its home in Ohio trees in April.
“We learned if we get these trees down by the end of March, there will be no issues with the bats,” Waldeck said.
It’s all part of the hospital’s $25 million expansion and modernization project. A two-story, 24,000-square-foot addition will be constructed at the front of the hospital. It will house a 12,000-square-foot emergency department on the first floor, tripling the space currently allotted to the ER, and a new cancer center on the second floor.
Some houses along Park Avenue, purchased by the hospital, will begin to be taken down next month, Waldeck said.
The newly-carved out space will make room for a large green space. Floor to ceiling glass windows are planned for the oncology department’s expansion, which will allow patients to look over the vast green space into Cowling Park.