If Mount Carmel Health Systems decides to relocate the Mount Carmel West in-patient hospital from Franklinton to Grove City, it will have a lot of room to work with.
Jason Koma, Mount Carmel Health System's director of external affairs, said Mount Carmel is currently conducting an "internal scenario planning" review of its entire network to determine the best strategic options for delivering care.
One of those options, as reported in The Columbus Dispatch, is relocating Mount Carmel West from Franklinton in Columbus to its new campus in Grove City. The West Side hospital has 385 staffed beds.
"We are acknowledging one of those possibilities is a hospital in Grove City," Koma said. "No decisions have been made whatsoever ... (and) we don't have a timeline for any decisions."
Koma also said it would be "premature" to discuss more details.
Currently, Mount Carmel is constructing the Mount Carmel Grove City Medical Center, at 5525 Hoover Road in Grove City, near the intersection Interstate 71 and state Route 665. The center consists of a 36,775 square foot emergency care center and 68,215 square foot medical office building.
Combined, those buildings, scheduled to open in 2014, will take up less than 2.5 acres. The hospital system holds a total of 110 acres at the site.
In May 2012, Grove City Council approved a rezoning of the 110 acres from SD-3 recreational facilities to to M-1 Medical, to allow for the construction of the emergency care facility and office. According to project narrative submitted by Mount Carmel when it applied for the rezoning, the emergency department and medical office comprise phase one of the site's development plan.
"There will be additional phases, but it is unknown at this time the timing of the phases and what is to be included in each phase," according to the narrative.
On Aug. 6, the Grove City Planning Commission approved a lot split for the Mount Carmel site, dividing about 93 acres into three lots: 22.9 acres, 47 acres and 23.5 acres. The lot split became effective upon the Planning Commission's approval.
Koma said Mount Carmel wants to ensure it keeps as much flexibility as possible at the site for future uses.
Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said the city has had some talks with Mount Carmel about a move. The decision, he said, is ultimately an internal one for Mount Carmel to make, so the city has asked Mount Carmel to take the lead on it.
"We're listening as much as anyone to what they're saying," Stage said. "This is a 'wait-and-see.' ... They're the ones in total control."
So far, Stage said, Mount Carmel has not submitted any plans or informed the city of when it might make a decision on the matter.
Stage said the city would welcome a such move.
"They have a major constituency here," he said. "There's been rumblings ever since they bought the land as to what their plans were. ... We're here to accommodate their requests."
Koma said Mount Carmel knows many Grove City area residents already utilize Mount Carmel West as their primary hospital. Any decisions Mount Carmel makes, he said, will be made based on how to provide the best care to meet the needs of its patients.
"We're going to strive for that," he said. "The main focus is to best achieve our mission."