The request to the Meridian City Council was to close a portion of 11th Street between 21st and 22nd Avenues so Riley Hospital can build a $3.5 million medical office building.
"The reason for the medical office building is, of course, we're recruiting physicians," said consultant Jim Cox, who represents Riley Hospital on the project. "When the physicians come to town, not only do they need a nice home to live in, they need an office to practice in and at the present time we don’t have enough office space."
"Some of the space that we have is rather old, but part of this project many of you will remember the old energy building that we have used for a number of years. The energy building has truly outlived its useful life," Cox said.
The area under the hospital's skyway was closed years ago. This new project will be an addition.
"Riley is the contiguous property owner on 11th Street and we just want to close this one block area,” said Cox. “The reason for the closing is that this will allow better ingress and egress for our patients and our patients families into the parking area. The closing of the street will also allow additional parking to be constructed on lots that we already have."
The city council passed the request 5-0. Construction will begin in about two months.