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LMH parking to expand by 710 stalls

As one of the fastest growing communities in B.C., Langley Memorial Hospital is feeling it.

Since the current building opened in 1965, almost 50 years ago, it has seen little in the form of change or expansion. Luckily, thanks to a huge fundraising campaign by the LMH Foundation, a new multi-million dollar maternity ward will soon open to accommodate all the babies being born here.

Also, the Foundation is set to open a new 710-stall paid parking lot for hospital staff and visitors next month.

With only 290 stalls in the parking lot for visitors, LMH has been operating with a “parking deficit,” said FHA’s director of parking Geoff Roberts.

Staff were parking in a small gravel lot across the street, but it was poorly lit and subject to puddling. Many have been choosing to park in nearby neighbourhoods or across Fraser Highway.

“The foundation purchased a property across the street from the current parking maybe 20 years ago with the idea of holding it for possible future expansion of the hospital,” said LMH Foundation chair Rick McMullan.

In the interim, a portion of the property has been used for staff parking, but there was poor lighting and the gravel conditions weren’t the best, he said.

Given the demands of a growing population using the hospital and staff using neighbourhood streets to park, the Township and the FHA approached the Foundation about creating a large parking lot.

It’s been a $2 million investment made by the Foundation in the form of a mortgage taken on the lot. It is currently being paved, landscaped and lighting installed to accommodate 710 stalls for visitors and staff.

“We did not use donor money for this. We used the land as a security for our mortgage,” said McMullan.

The revenue from the pay parking will go to pay off the mortgage. Once that mortgage is paid off, the revenue from parking will go directly back into health care needs at LMH.

The current lot beside the hospital is owned by FHA, with the majority of parking revenue going back into general revenue for equipment and patient care across the region.

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