WILMINGTON, N.C. — The New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) in Wilmington unveiled its plans on April 27 for the new employee parking garage and skywalk that will cross above 17th Street and join with the 17th Street medical campus. The garage and skywalk is expected to be complete by the end of this year, and are part of the hospital’s strategic plan to shift employee parking off campus to prepare for construction of and for the new orthopedic hospital on the main campus.
BMH Architects in Wilmington will be the design firm, with McKinley Building Corp. in Wilmington as the construction firm on the project. The budget of the new five-story parking garage and skywalk project is $18 million, and will be built on 1.3-acres that previously served as an employee parking lot. The new parking garage will have 720 parking spaces, and the skywalk will be close to 22 feet above the roadway, leading into the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital entrance.
The covered skywalk will be built to withstand hurricane-force winds and will provide a safe route for employees of the medical center to cross the busy street (this skywalk is designated for employee-use only). Designs for the skywalk attempt to match the hospital’s exterior design, and will reflect the “nautical feel” that is prevalent throughout Wilmington, according to NHRMC.
The construction of the new orthopedic hospital on the NHRMC campus began in May, with completion projected for 2019. The total cost of the new orthopedic hospital has currently been estimated at $87 million. The new three-story orthopedic hospital will be 134,000 square feet and will include 108 rooms. The purpose of this new construction — and move of the orthopedic hospital from its current location on Wrightsville Avenue — is to put the NHRMC orthopedics team and their patients closer to all of the available resources and comprehensive support offered at NHRMC’s main campus.