Mercy gets de­sign OK

Ap­proval con­tin­gent on zon­ing change

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Pay­erchin

Mercy Health has con­di­tional ap­proval for the ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign of its planned new med­i­cal of­fice build­ing on Oak Point Road.

On Nov. 14, the Lorain De­sign Re­view Board voted 4-0 to ap­prove the look of the new build­ing.

The vote did not set­tle Mercy Health’s pend­ing re­quest for a zon­ing change for the of­fice com­plex.

“Right now, it’s a lit­tle bit up in the air as far as site,” said board Chair­man Gary Fis­cher, a Lorain ar­chi­tect. “They have not com­pleted zon­ing and plan­ning so any­thing that we would do to­day would be con­tin­gent on a fi­nal site plan as well as land­scap­ing.”

If the zon­ing change is ap­proved, Mercy Health needs to re­turn to show its plans for light­ing and land­scap­ing, the De­sign Re­view Board mem­bers said.

The hos­pi­tal has asked to change zon­ing from R-1A Res­i­den­tial to B-1 Busi­ness to build a new 30,000-square­foot med­i­cal of­fice cen­ter on 8.19 acres of land just west of the in­ter­sec­tion of Oak Point Road and South Mayflower Drive.

The day be­fore the de­sign meet­ing, dozens of peo­ple packed the Lorain City Coun­cil cham­ber for Coun­cil’s hear­ing on the zon­ing change. Many of them spoke ar­gued the build­ing and added traffic are not a good fit for their neigh­bor­hood.

In the De­sign Re­view Board meet­ing, Fis­cher and board mem­bers An­drea Neal, John Keaton and Frank Sip­kovsky ac­knowl­edged the furor over the lo­ca­tion of the build­ing. But mainly they dis­cussed the ex­te­rior de­sign el­e­ments.

Ar­chi­tect John Reyes and Pro­ject Man­ager Greg Deitz

of con­trac­tor STAR De­sign-Build Con­trac­tors spoke about the build­ing, while Ryan Brady of Brady Signs talked about the il­lu­mi­nated and un­lighted ex­te­rior signs.

The De­sign Re­view Board mem­bers noted the fa­cil­ity would sit in a res­i­den­tial area.

“It looks good, the color scheme,” Neal said. “I like the con­cept of the mounds also be­cause of the area you’re go­ing to be in with the res­i­den­tial around it and try­ing to cul­ti­vate a more invit­ing set­ting to ap­pease the neigh­bors.

“I think it’s very pro­fes­sion­ally done,” she said. Neal later called it some­thing the com­mu­nity should be proud of and sug­gested the hos­pi­tal add a walk­ing trail around the land to make it more us­able for res­i­dents.

The fa­cil­ity mainly will be a doc­tor’s of­fice, not a hos­pi­tal open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Reyes said. There could be a walkin care cen­ter for health is­sues, but the new fa­cil­ity will not have an emer­gency room, Deitz said.

The 30,000-square-foot build­ing will be one story, mostly in shades of gray with blue ac­cents. It will be about 18 feet tall at its main para­pet, with rises up to 19 feet and the south­east cor­ner ris­ing to about 25 feet.

The build­ing would sit 75 feet off the side of the road.

The drive­way would be south of the build­ing and di­rectly across from South Mayflower Drive.

The park­ing lot with 158 spa­ces would sit west of the build­ing, so pa­tients and staff would park be­hind the build­ing as viewed from the road.

The west side of the build­ing also would have an over­hang­ing canopy for drop-offs and pick­ups the main en­trance of the med­i­cal fa­cil­ity.

On the east side of the build­ing, a re­ten­tion pond would sit be­tween the build­ing and road, ac­cord­ing to plans. There would be land­scap­ing mounds north and south of the build­ing.

The fa­cil­ity would have lighted signs stat­ing “Mercy Health” with the hos­pi­tal logo on the east and west sides of the build­ing. A pedestal sign at the en­trance would in­clude a three-footby-six-foot il­lu­mi­nated LED sign message board.

The LED sign would have an au­to­matic dim­ming fea­ture based on avail­able light, Brady said. It would be bright­est at noon but would dim at other times, he said, and could be pro­grammed to shine dur­ing busi­ness hours but shut off at night.

“It’s not go­ing to be 100 per­cent all the time where you’re, you know, you’re blind­ing mo­torists, or if you have a res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity that’s nearby, you’re blind­ing in some­one’s win­dow,” Brady said.

“The ex­pec­ta­tion is to not overdo it at night­time,” he said.

The trash con­tainer boxes or screens will be built of ma­sonry that matches the build­ing.

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