Vision 2016 | Busy Scalp Avenue block adding larger hotel, Conemaugh complex

A busy section of Scalp Avenue in Richland Township will look a lot different a year from now.

While construction is already underway on a Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express & Suites at 1440 Scalp Ave., plans are also moving forward next door for Conemaugh and Duke LifePoint to level the current East Hills medical building and replace it with a $70 million, three-story outpatient center. According to plans, the Conemaugh East Hills Outpatient Center will be a 135,000-square-foot one-stop location for ambulatory surgery, imaging and lab work as well as rehabilitative services in a facility that will also be home to primary care physicians, Conemaugh officials have said.

This will be a three-story building that will change the way health care is delivered, Conemaugh Hospitals Division CEO Steve Tucker said late last year. Conemaugh s MedWell urgent care center, its corporate care office and Laurel Highlands Advanced Imaging Center all will relocate from the current facility to the new one, while Southmont-based Western Pennsylvania Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will open a second location in the outpatient center, Conemaugh officials said.

Conemaugh spokeswoman Amy Bradley said site work could be ongoing throughout the winter, assuming weather allows. Actual construction is expected to begin this spring and if all goes well, the project could be complete in autumn 2017.

Richland s zoning board approved a height variance Feb.

9 to allow the work to get started.

Work on The Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Express and Suites already has begun. Crews started pouring concrete in December. Steel and other foundation work are expected to continue through the coming weeks, said Melissa Radovanic, sales and marketing director for Crown American Hotels, the site s developer and manager.

We re hoping to get it under roof soon so we can start working on the inside, she said.

The four-story hotel will replace a smaller one that Crown acquired in the 1980s.

Originally built as a Super 8, the building had design and offerings well past their prime and Crown s new hotel will reflect the modern Express model.

It will offer 93 rooms, including suites, a business center and fitness area, plans show. A 450-square-foot outdoor pool that spans from 3 to 41/2 feet deep also is planned, Radovonic said.

The hotel is being built a bit farther back from Scalp than the previous one, which will provide added room for parking.

Radovonic said the hotel is on track to open early this summer. The hotel will be just next door to Conemaugh s new center.

And Radovonic said the state-of-the art facility will serve as an ideal neighbor.

The hotel will be there for patients and their families when they are in the area, she said. Both ventures are also surrounded by two newly built banks, Indiana First Savings and First National Bank.

We had the opportunity to relocate to other locations, but we felt like that was a great fit, Radovonic said. That s a really attractive stretch of Scalp Avenue now, and we re happy to be a part of it. The commercial strip also welcomed a Firehouse Subs in recent months.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat.

He can be reached at (814) 532-5053.

Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst1 and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.2


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