Yarmouth planners OK Mercy Hospital quick-care facility

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YARMOUTH — A Mercy Hospital express care facility could be open on Route 1 by next April after the Planning Board unanimously approved the project on June 23.

Vanessa Farr, the town’s director of planning and development, said the proposal went through a few alterations, but the final plan meets the needs of the staff and public.

“Any proposal includes a back and forth process,” she said. “The plan was thoroughly vetted and staff concerns were addressed.”

The 10,500-square-foot, single-story building would be built on undeveloped land at the town’s southern gateway. It will occupy 1.6 acres of a 5.5-acre parcel at 385 Route 1, between Route 1 and Portland Street and near existing Mobil gas station and Mr. Bagel businesses.

Farr said the many of the changes to the proposal addressed design guidelines. The building will mirror architectural details at Merrill Library, and will have a copper weather vane, traditional cedar shingles and a cupola. A variety of plant and tree species have been added to the plan for additional buffering, too.

The medical building will be about 40 feet from the edge of Route 1, with a sidewalk on the property and trees along the road. There will initially be a single entrance from Route 1, Farr said, with the potential to create access between lots if the parcel is further developed in the future.

There will be 54 parking spaces, and more landscaping in the parking lot than previously suggested.

“This has been a thoughtfully designed application,” Farr said. “The developer has been responsive to the input of the town staff and general public.”

According to Bob Nutter, vice president of human resources and support services at Mercy, construction should begin at the end of this month and the facility is scheduled to open April 1, 2011.

He said Mercy Hospital has three other express care facilities in Windham, Westbrook and Gorham, and all are very successful. In addition to Yarmouth, he said the new facility is expected to serve residents of North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Freeport and Pownal.

“Getting into Portland can sometimes be a hassle, so we have identified communities where we can serve the most residents,” Nutter said. “Yarmouth is a good fit. It is in a higher traffic area and has a close proximity to schools and sports fields.”

The facility will include a family practice and express-care facility for non-life-threatening emergencies such as cuts, sprains and patients with cold or flu-like symptoms. The quick-care facility would be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and the family practice will be open Monday through Friday. There are no overnight accommodations, Nutter said.

“We are looking to give back to the community, and are confident residents will find the facility to be a huge benefit,” he said.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net

A Mercy Hospital quick-care facility was approved by the Yarmouth Planning Board June 23. The 10,500-square-foot medical facility will begin construction this month and is expected to open April, 2011. This rendition shows the facility and the landscaped parking lot.