St. Luke's Hospital. Photo by Meira Gebel.

Cranes fill the air, and cement trucks line the streets for new improvements on Cesar Chavez and Valencia streets are steadily underway as the new replacement hospital for St. Luke’s is expected to open by 2019, according to hospital officials.

During a community meeting Wednesday night, organizers, construction directors and mostly neighbors filled the hospital’s first floor conference room to discuss updates and community concerns. Neighbors listed parking, noise, and garbage as potential problems.  Paul Klemish, the project director, offered a look at all in a powerpoint presentation that showed a timeline of upcoming events.

Neighbors can expect daily noise and traffic rerouting on Cesar Chavez, Valencia and 27th Street as construction continues well into April 2016, he said.  The projected new building will be seven stories, approximately 215,000 square-feet, and will have two lobbies, a new emergency room and about 120 rooms for patients. Klemish also touched on plans for another new building, to the right of where the new site is currently sitting now. However, he said, that will be later, in roughly 2020.

Paul Klemish, project director, stands in front of his powerpoint presentation for the replacement hospital at St. Luke's. Photo by Meira Gebel.
Paul Klemish, project director, stands in front of his powerpoint presentation for the replacement hospital at St. Luke’s. Photo by Meira Gebel.

Other construction updates included the future work for widening the sidewalk to make the hospital campus more accessible to pedestrians.

Neighbors returned to the noise and traffic rerouting. One neighbor said that the site has produced unnecessary noise, while another noted that the traffic detours were helpful for vehicles, yet not so much for bicyclists.

Klemish took note, and added, “We have a very constricting site, I know you’ve seen it. Once the hospital is enclosed, it will be pretty quiet.”

Until then, the Mission can expect to see more concrete trucks, the erection of a large, steel frame by spring 2016, and hear it all while it’s happening.

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