Join Our Telegram Channel


Community Medical Center on Route 37 in Toms River is scheduled tonight to present plans to the Toms River Township Planning Board for phase I in a massive $600 million expansion project which is to unfold over the course of the next two decades, and will feature private rooms, redesigned oncology treatment and a utility system that can withstand more severe storms.

In June 2022, the Planning Board granted approval to the hospital's General Development Plan for a Planned Commercial Development for the expansion of their campus, which was approved to be completed in four separate phases.

The total campus size will be increased from 38.1 acres to 41.5 acres. The hospital’s current size of 711,897 square feet will be increased to 1,053,327 square feet.

Additionally, the current 146,500 square foot parking garage will be demolished and a new 171,000 square foot garage will be constructed instead. The end result will have 1,759 parking spaces throughout the campus, up from the current 1,456 spaces.

Tonight, the hospital is set to seek Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval for Phase I of its General Development Plan.

This phase is for construction of a new approximately 702 parking space visitor parking garage, a central utility plant ("CUP") with a footprint of approximately 20,932 sq feet, and a new at-grade parking lot with approximately 80 parking spaces.

The proposed six-level visitor parking garage is proposed in the area immediately south of the medical center building, with the at-grade parking lot proposed immediately to the west of the new visitor parking garage, in the location of the existing visitor parking garage.

The existing visitor parking garage is proposed to be demolished, with the at-grade lot constructed in the same location.

The CUP is proposed south of the proposed new visitor parking garage, and would be between the new visitor parking garage and the existing parking garage that is located to the east of Stockton Drive.

The proposed ancillary improvements include alteration to the site vehicular and pedestrian circulation routes, with the installation of new sidewalks and appropriate vehicular and pedestrian signage, updates to the utility and stormwater conveyance infrastructure, and improvements to lighting and landscaping.

The application is seeking design exception relief from the requirements to have a minimum of two shrubs and one tree for each 250 square feet of open space, and to provide an underground irrigation system.

The second phase of the hospital's major expansion project (which will be presented at a future public hearing), will include major renovations to the hospital itself, as RWJ Barnabas Health, the hospital’s owner, begins its medical residency program. The program will build itself up over several years into a complement of 117 new physicians working as residents at Community, turning the hospital into a teaching institution and increasing the number of physicians on staff. After the program is fully stood up, it is expected that 117 residents will be a permanent fixture in the program.

The physical renovations that will be proposed will house the new program while providing more space as technology evolves. This phase will add 340,000 square feet of new hospital space, new surgical areas, procedure rooms, patient rooms, a new lobby space and a new cafeteria. The licensed bed count will remain the same, with 592 beds.

Patient rooms will be one of the primary aspects of the third phase of work. One of the main goals of the expansion is to accommodate most patients in private rooms.

The final phase of the project will also include a new main entrance to the hospital, which will be located in the entrance to the newly-built addition.

This will give the hospital the ability to use the old lobby for discharge purposes, which will lead to a spreading-out of services and be more efficient.

More importantly, the new building will provide a new entrance facing Route 37, moving from its current location off of a winding Hospital Drive.

The hospital’s attorney, Peter Carton, confirmed the plan would likely take a total of 20 years to implement, with the phased work being formally proposed along the way.

The hospital opened in 1961 as Community Memorial Hospital with 50 beds and 12 bassinets after a decade-long campaign that raised $1.1 million. In 1988, to reflect its regional reach, the hospital changed its name to Community Medical Center.

The hospital has grown through several mergers over the years. Community has 2,700 employees and 800 physicians. It is licensed for 592 beds.

To join a FAA WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA WhatsApp Status, click here.

No comments: