Charleston’s municipal planning commission on Wednesday unanimously approved an application by Charleston Area Medical Center to construct a new medical training facility in Kanawha City.
The application for the 57,000-square-foot facility, projected to cost $18.1 million to construct, now goes before the full city council on Sept. 21.
Discussion on the application Wednesday centered around potential traffic issues the facility could cause on Chesterfield Avenue and the 31st Street SE underpass. Resident Ricky Turley, who said he lives nearby, said traffic sometimes creates a bottleneck at the underpass when CAMC employees leave the parking lot where the proposed project site is located.
City council member Mary Beth Hoover said the current traffic likely comes from employees leaving en masse at the end of their shifts, whereas the facility’s medical resident students would likely not be coming and going at the same times.
CAMC Director of Construction Services David Childers said students who are doing clinical studies at CAMC Memorial Hospital or any of the nearby CAMC health centers can walk over to the facility. He said CAMC also doesn’t anticipate any parking overload to occur because of the facility.
Site plans for the proposed CAMC Center for Learning and Research estimate the facility will have 97 parking spaces.
If the application is approved by city council, construction on the three-story facility could begin in early 2021, CAMC spokesperson Dale Witte wrote in an email Tuesday. More space for training medical school residents and members of the community is needed because CAMC’s current simulation center has outgrown its previous home, an old nursing unit at CAMC General Hospital.
“On any given day, there are more than 800 students in programs leading to degrees or certifications in a wide variety of health professions,” Witte wrote Tuesday. “CAMC hosts students from the West Virginia University School of Medicine and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.”