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Sketch plan submitted for new West Shore hospital

Penn State Health is planning to build a 108-bed hospital on this nearly 44-acre tract off Good Hope and Wertzville roads in Hampden Township. - (Photo / Submitted)

Hampden Township residents will get their first look next month at a new hospital proposed to be built on a tract near Interstate 81 at Wertzville and Good Hope roads.

Penn State Health this week submitted a sketch plan to the township for the 108-bed, three-story hospital. The plan will be reviewed at the next township planning commission meeting on Sept. 13.

Penn State Health is the parent of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The health system announced plans for the Cumberland County hospital in June. It is an extension of the system’s partnership with Pittsburgh-based insurer Highmark Health and will boost health care competition in the commonwealth’s fastest-growing county.

The proposed Penn State site is not far from UPMC Pinnacle West Shore. The hospital would be the fourth in Cumberland County, joining UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle and Geisinger Holy Spirit in East Pennsboro Township.

The preliminary plan, which Penn State officials say could change through the local approval process, calls for a 300,000-square-foot V-shaped hospital building with a main entrance off Good Hope Road. The 43.5-acre tract is near Wentworth Estates, a luxury housing community.

The sketch reviewed by the Business Journal at the township office says the facility could have about 1,000 employees and more than 1,100 parking spaces. It also shows a helicopter landing pad and emergency entrance on the side of the hospital that faces I-81.

A proposed walking trail would go around much of the perimeter of the site.

The planning commission meeting in September is the first step in a land development process that could span many months. Penn State Health still needs to submit formal land development plans that would have to be approved by the township commissioners before the hospital is built.

Penn State Health has said it hopes to break ground in early 2019. Costs of the new hospital have not been disclosed.

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