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Hospital expansion gets green light

Amanda Butler, Sierra Sun

With the recent approval of a town use permit, Tahoe Forest Hospital (TFH) got the green light to begin its long-awaited $13 million expansion.

The permit was approved at the April 11 hearing of the Town of Truckee Planning Commission.

The first phase of the construction is small: only 2,942 square feet.

“Basically, the project is set to kick off this summer,” said TFH CEO Larry Long. “The surgery wing starts first … it will provide an additional two operating rooms.”

The second phase, known as the western addition, is set to begin site preparation next summer. The two-story, 43,594 square ft. attachment will house a new “medical mall,” a patient resource center that will include services such as a lab draw station, radiology unit, a breast help center, alternative medicine center, biofeedback and financial counseling.

The new wing will also house a six-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 15 private patient rooms and 10 semi-private rooms.

Long says the expansion is important for several reasons. First, more space enables the hospital to handle the growth of the community and expand hospital programs. The larger future addition will also give patients more privacy.

The planning commission had a few minor concerns with the overall appearance of the new addition. Town planners granted the use permit on the condition that new design aspects be incorporated into older structures.

“As the hospital has expanded, a hodge-podge of new buildings have sprung up. The planning commission’s goal is to ensure there is some uniformity,” said Assistant Planner Stacy Wydra. “One of the conditions of the permit is that the hospital will carry similar materials throughout the design.”

One of the stipulations of the use permit is that green trim be reflected on all the buildings on the hospital’s new campus. They also want to see that all buildings are painted the same color.

“During routine maintenance, the hospital will have to repaint the older structures. It’s not going to happen overnight but it will eventually all look similar,” said Wydra.

The new western expansion will also require rerouting of Pine Road. Wydra says the redesign of the road will have it going around the hospital’s new campus as opposed to it going through it.

“Once the hospital is finished, Pine Road will almost dead end at the hospital’s entrance,” said Wydra.


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