Possible St. Thomas W. Hospital Expansion Receives Mixed Reviews
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The possible expansion of St. Thomas West Hospital is drawing mixed reactions from some neighbors.
Residents packed the cafeteria at Ensworth School for a community meeting where they received a first look at what the hospital is considering.
St. Thomas Chief Experience Officer Dawn Rudolph as well as Council Member Jason Holleman answered questions from residents.
The property in question is about 13 acres and is located behind the hospital on Harding Road. The land currently houses the Imperial House and a building that was previously used by the Knights of Columbus. St. Thomas is considering re-zoning the land from residential to commercial to make way for a hospital expansion.
"We're driven to serve, and driven to take care of people," said Dawn Rudolph, Chief Experience Officer for St. Thomas Health. "We have to marry that with tough decisions, and we have to look at long term planning."
However, many residents expressed concerns about traffic and environmental issues. Many were also frustrated St. Thomas didn't reveal more details on the expansion plans.
"You want us to get on board with a zoning change, but you won't give us specifics on the plan," said one resident.
"I think we are beyond this meeting," said another resident. "We want to know what you have planned."
While Rudolph wouldn't comment on specifics, she stressed any future development would fit in with the surrounding buildings, and that residents' input is important.
The hospital plans to host another future community meeting on this issue.
In order for the re-zoning to occur, St. Thomas would have to get approval from the Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council.
For more information on the project visit www.sth.org