Contact: Thomas Hottman
Sky Lakes Medical Center began construction for Klamath Falls' first parking garage on Monday.
The site will hold 333 spaces, with two spaces for electric cars, and opens the spring of 2017.
The $5 million two-level parking structure is the first phase of a $50 million project for a new clinical and education building on the northwest corner of the Sky Lakes campus.
In April, Sky Lakes and Oregon Health & Science University announced their partnership in building the facility to host clinical care and provide training to OHSU students.
"That's going to be a four-story building," Sky Lakes public information officer Tom Hottman said.
Hottman said Sky Lakes decided to build the parking garage before the building, to accommodate the additional traffic the facility will bring.
Construction on the four-story building will begin shortly after the completion of the parking garage, starting in the spring of 2017.
"It would be a crime to build the building and have that extra traffic and not be able to do anything with them," Hottman said.
While the main parking lot in front of Sky Lakes is under construction for the parking garage, alternative parking lots have opened up for patients, visitors and employees until the garage is complete in spring, 2017.
Eight parking lots are scattered throughout the west, south and east side of the Sky Lakes campus area.
Three of the lots are patient and visitor parking, three are for employees and one is for both. Handicap parking is still available near the entrance of Sky Lakes.
Maps for the temporary parking lot arrangement can be found throughout the campus, with a digital copy located online.
"We've been sharing information with the staff for a long time," Hottman said."We're continuing to update staff, share the maps, share questions and answers so they feel comfortable, and reminding them to remind their customers and plan ahead."
Two shuttles pick up patients, visitors and employees from the parking lots and drive them to the medical center.
The shuttles pick up between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with 10 minute intervals, or people can call the pickup hotline at 541-331-0518.
Martina Martin drives one of the shuttles from 6:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and picked up Jacob Fletcher from the entrance of Sky Lakes on Tuesday.
"I think (the parking) is chaotic right now but I think it will be great when they get it finished," Fletcher said. "It will provide a lot more stress free environment for everybody that comes up here because there will be more space."
Fletcher came to pick up items he left at the emergency room when he had his kneecap put back into place.
"What happened?" Martin asked while driving Fletcher to his car.
"I was cutting trees and stepped in a pothole wrong," Fletcher responded.
"Oh, that's not good," Martin asked. "Where did you park?"
Fletcher pointed to the end of one of the parking lots "It would have taken me 30 minutes to walk all the way up there," Fletcher said.
Fletcher added that he'll take the shuttle every time until his left leg heals and he can walk again.
For more information about the new facility, parking garage or the temporary lots visit Sky Lakes website.