Lake Forest approves hospital master plan
Updated: October 2, 2012 5:33PM
LAKE FOREST — Though some concern was raised about traffic, the Lake Forest City Council Monday granted a special-use permit to approve the master plan for Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, setting in motion the plan to construct a state-of-the-art healthcare facility.
The final vote was 6-1, with Third Ward Alderman Stanford Tack, a physician, abstaining.
Fourth Ward Alderman Michael Adelman cast the sole “no” vote, citing the need for a right-in, right-out access to the hospital from southbound Route 41 or a signalized intersection at Route 41 and Deerpath before construction permits are issued.
Other than the traffic on Route 41, Adelman called the master plan “a great document.”
First Ward Alderman Kent Novit said he agreed with the need for improved access on Route 41 and potentially a stoplight at Deerpath, but said there would be “further vetting of these issues” as the project moves through the city’s approval and oversight process.
“I strongly urge approval with no conditions on traffic,” Novit said.
Second Ward Alderman George Pandaleon said it would be “an absolute tragedy” if the plan were not approved because of a “well-intentioned aspect” of ensuring a traffic signal at the main intersection on the south end of the hospital campus.
Director of Development Cathy Czerniak said officials are “confident the right-in, right-out access will be done well before the issuance of permits.”
Czerniak emphasized much work remains to be done before construction of a new hospital building and parking would begin.
“This will be a very long process,” she said.
After the special-use permit and master plan were approved, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital President Thomas J. McAfee thanked the aldermen for reaching “a watershed moment in delivering care” to the community.
The architectural team of HGA and Pelli Clarke Pelli will design the new hospital, McAfee said Tuesday.
“The team will offer a combination of expertise in project management and healthcare knowledge, along with excellence in design to deliver world-class architecture to complement Lake Forest,” McAfee said.
In addition to the new hospital building, the plan includes construction of a new medical office building and parking on the 161-acre campus.
Construction could begin on the new hospital in 2014 with anticipated completion in 2017.
The current hospital, originally built in 1942, will be reused as an educational facility.