Redington-Fairview General Hospital at 46 Fairview Ave. in Skowhegan in April 2020. The hospital is looking to build a three-story, 24,000-square-foot expansion to its main building. Morning Sentinel file

SKOWHEGAN — Redington-Fairview General Hospital is planning a three-story, 24,000-square-foot expansion to its main building in Skowhegan that officials say will provide more medical office space as the hospital grows.

The Skowhegan Planning Board reviewed the hospital’s plans Tuesday as part of a pre-application site plan review.

Officials at the 25-bed hospital at 46 Fairview Ave., also known as state Route 104, proposed a similar expansion in a different location in 2020, according to Steve Blake of BH2M, a Gorham civil engineering firm and contractor for the hospital.

“That project, for a variety of reasons, never came to fruition,” Blake told the Planning Board. “So this is kind of the next iteration of that.”

The 23,857-square-foot medical office building would be an expansion of the existing main hospital building, according to plans. The new building would be built at what is now a vehicle loading zone and an entrance on the Fairview Avenue side of the hospital.

With three stories, the actual footprint of the building would be about 8,000 square feet, Blake said.

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Plans for the expansion also include two new parking areas on Jones Street, both adjacent to an existing parking lot.

The family medicine building at the corner of Jones Street and Fairview Avenue would be demolished for the first phase of the parking lot construction, which would add 83 spaces.

The second phase of construction would add 44 spaces to the north of the existing Jones Street parking lot in what is now a wooded area.

Along with other offices and clinics, the hospital is looking to move its cardiology clinic from 61 Fairview Ave. to the new medical office building, a representative of the hospital said.

“We will do something with that building,” Jacoby Johnson said of the existing cardiology building. “We just needed room for growth.”

Planning Board members did not vote Tuesday on the proposed plans, but asked questions about a variety of issues, including parking capacity, snow removal and landscaping design. The biggest issue for some of the board members appeared to be how the new parking lots would affect stormwater runoff.

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The hospital is near the watershed of Currier Brook, which sometimes floods downstream of the hospital in the downtown area.

“The proof is in the pudding — look downstream,” Planning Board member Harvey Austin said. “And it’s not you guys 100%. But the huge part, every time you do an expansion, they get (runoff) downstream. It’s just not right.”

Planning Board Chairman Steve Conley said there is no proof that excess runoff comes directly from the hospital.

Blake of the civil engineering firm said the hospital would address runoff concerns because the proposed expansion must also be approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. That permit requires plans for sewer, water, stormwater and solid waste management.

State DEP standards require stormwater management infrastructure with capacity for the equivalent of a 25-year storm, Blake said. That would equate to 5 to 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, although he said the exact figure would depend on several factors.

“We certainly want to be a good neighbor, too,” Blake said. “Just in my history working with the hospital, they’ve always encouraged us to go about this in the right way, and I think that will continue.”


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