Wheeling Hospital Moving Portion of Staff to Wheeling Jesuit University Campus

Members of the public take in Monday’s meeting of the Wheeling Planning Commission. Photo by Joselyn King

WHEELING — Wheeling Hospital is planning to move 180 employees to the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University, and it’s seeking additional parking there.

The building previously known as the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center has been purchased by the hospital, and is now called the Wheeling Hospital Support Services Center, according to Gregg S. Warren, vice president of marketing and public relations at Wheeling Hospital.

“As we continue to grow, the building is a nearby solution to help us fulfill our need for additional space,” Warren said. “So far, we have relocated our clinical informatics, financial accounting and half of our information technology personnel there. In the near future, we anticipate moving a several pediatric outpatient services to the building. The entire process opens up room at the hospital to help accommodate our growth.”

Wheeling Hospital began moving some support employees to the former NTTC Building about a year ago, according to Warren.

“We have been slowly adding personnel there,” Warren said. “We’re going to eventually end up filling that building.”

John M. Pastorius, vice president of Wheeling Hospital, appeared Monday before the Wheeling Planning Commission. A letter from the hospital to the commission said ownership of the building only recently transferred to Wheeling Hospital. Gregg said Monday night he did not know what the hospital paid for the building.

“We currently own the former Robert C. Byrd NTTC Building, and we have about 60 employees there,” he told the commission.

Pastorius presented to the board the hospital’s proposed plan to create 149 additional parking spaces on the WJU campus. This would be accomplished by paving over the existing soccer field between the WJU campus and the nearby former Mt. de Chantal Visitation Academy property, which is also owned by the hospital.

Under the site plan being proposed, a 20-foot drive would connect the new parking lot on the soccer field with 69 existing parking spaces already being used by Wheeling Hospital employees on the Mt. de Chantal side. When the new 149 spaces are added in, that would bring the total number of available spots for employee parking to 207, Pastorius told the commission.

He expects 180 employees eventually will work at the Wheeling Hospital Support Services Center. A 10-foot walking path would connect the lots to WJU’s main campus.

Commission Chairman James Mauck Jr. asked Pastorius how Wheeling Hospital would use the building. Pastorius said the hospital plans to move its business offices, as well as billing and scheduling departments, to the WJU campus.

Mauck then asked what the hospital’s timeline was for completing the parking lot and relocating employees.

Pastorius said the hospital hoped to have asphalt down by the time the weather turns cold, and that employees would be brought over to the Wheeling Hospital Support Services Center after the parking lot was completed. He anticipated the work could be done by Thanksgiving.

The proposed plan also would have employees entering and exiting the lots using private Mt. de Chantal Drive.

Two nearby neighbors — Tina Burkett and Amy Meisel — spoke in opposition following Pastorius’ presentation. They said the prospect of cars entering Washington Avenue from Mt. de Chantal Drive would create safety issues, as well as privacy concerns for them.

Board members discussed the matter and asked if the proposed site plan could be altered to change the 10-foot walking path connecting the lots to the campus to a 20-foot lane that would accommodate vehicles. That would allow Wheeling Hospital employees to access their lot through the main WJU entrance along Washington Avenue.

There also were questions raised about water drainage on the property. Wheeling Public Works Director Russell “Rusty” Jebbia, a member of the commission, was not present at Monday’s meeting to answer the question.

Board member Howard Monroe requested Pastorius speak with representatives of the West Virginia Department of Transportation, and seek their input on whether Wheeling Hospital employees should use the Mt. de Chantal Drive entrance or the main WJU entrance.

The hospital’s request for a special-use permit and site plan review was tabled until a special meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday.

Members initially present for Monday’s meeting included Mauck, Monroe, Councilwoman Wendy Scatterday, Martha Wright and Christie Contraguerro. Jebbia was absent as he attended to flood-related matters in the city, and Contraguerro left unexpectedly during the meeting.

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