Michigan Medicine breaks ground on $920M hospital as employees protest parking plans

During a groundbreaking ceremony for Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine's $920 million hospital, two dozen nurses protested over an ongoing dispute involving employee parking, according to M Live.

The proposal to build the 12-story, 690,000-square-foot hospital was approved Sept. 19. The hospital will house 264 beds and employ more than 1,600 non-physicians. It is expected to open in 2024.

During the ceremony, hospital leaders praised Michigan Medicine's investment in patient care and the community with the new building.

"It's an investment in our community, it’s an investment in our patients, and we think that it's going to be a huge success in helping so many folks down the road," Michigan Medicine's COO Tony Denton, told the publication. "We're just ecstatic."

But, outside of the groundbreaking ceremony, a group of about two dozen workers protested, claiming that the new project will worsen the "already volatile parking situation," according to the report. 

The workers called on system leaders to address the lack of employee parking and describe how the new building will affect the parking situation.

Although the university plans to open a 1,000-space parking structure and 600 "incremental patient spaces" by fall 2020, the protesters claimed that it will not be enough to satisfy the need for parking because more than 1,600 employees will join the system when the new building opens. 

"I love that they’re reinvesting in the system, we're all proud to be working at U of M... But they have to work on this parking situation. This building is great, but it’s going to add more problems as the years go on," Kenneth Warshaw, an operating room nurse who has worked at the hospital for about 15 years, told the publication.

More articles on facilities management:

New York City board rejects Northwell Health's $2B hospital revamp
Turf war erupting over MUSC's expansion
How an Army hospital project in Texas went $629M over budget

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