New IMP proposal is a 10-year plan that aims to bring a new modernized Cancer Center, additional facilities, and storage space to AGH campus

By: Neil Strebig

Members from Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), Highmark Foundation, and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) met with the Northside Leadership Conference and local community groups on Wednesday, September 6 to discuss an updated version of their Institution Master Plan (IMP).

Current IMP plan

Public presentation

The AGH team aimed to hear communal concerns about the project and was adamant about community feedback with their current project. The IMP is built around a 10-year plan that will bring a brand new, cancer facility with 65,000 square feet of space to AGH along with additional storage space and temporary units for the hospital. As shown in the IMP plan listed above newly proposed units will be located within the current Emergency Management Institute (EMI) district that encompasses North Ave., Hemlock St., James. St., and Sandusky St.

The EMI district. Colored zones indicate additions

The initial footprint of the plan is the immediate EMI district and a 1,000-foot radius around the EMI district. This may allow the additional construction of a shared parking garage at Allegheny Center Alliance Church. The garage will be shared by ACAC, AGH employees and Northside residents with the financial backing of ACAC, AHN, and NSLC. The proposed 250-car garage was discussed at the meeting but was not a confirmed inclusion to the IMP.

Highmark Foundation executive vice president Daniel Onorato stressed the importance of community input on the plans and stated that AGH is doing everything within its power to ensure that this proposal is in agreement with the NSCL and local community and civic groups.

Onorato also explained (as mentioned in both the IMP plan and presentation) that current AHN-owned properties such as the Devine Providence Hospital on Arch St., the Aeberli Building and the parking lot on 1201 Sherman Ave. will not be changed as no plan of action has been reached for those locations due to community concerns over future usage of the spaces. The AHN-owned building at 4 Allegheny Center is currently being utilized for office space and is under lease until June 2026. No future plan after the expiration of the lease has been confirmed.

An overhead shot of the EMI district and the surrounding 1,000-foot radius.

AHN is looking for additional feedback from the community before their September 15 submission to the Department of City Planning. Once finalized the IMP will have a public brief session with Planning Commission Nov. 7. From there a formal hearing will be held Nov. 21 and City Council will have until Jan. 31, 2018 to make a formal decision. The current IMP is listed as a “draft” since members of the AHN planning board are willing to make additional changes to the plan based on communal concerns if necessary before the submission date.

Onorato also stressed that this is a time sensitive issues and urged community leaders to act with haste since June 2019 will mark an end to shared facility usage between AHN and UMPC. According to Onorato’s presentation the new resources proposed in the IMP will help ensure AHN and AGH have the facilities needed to guarantee patients quality care.

View the entire IMP here. Further questions, comments and concerns can be voiced at aghmp@ikmin.com.

Information and media provided by Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Foundation.