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Parrish Campus Redevelopment: Investing in the Future


Listening to the Community

As the new hospital project has progressed and now opened on Pleasant Valley Road, you may have wondered: what is Owensboro Health's plan for the current hospital site (we call it Parrish campus)? Whether you're a community member, a neighbor, or a member of our staff (past or present), we know that you care about the future of the Parrish campus.

So do we. The Parrish campus—with its heritage, central location, and economic potential—is a valuable community asset, and Owensboro Health is committed to keeping the site viable for future growth.

​Current Campus - Click to Enlarge


Plans for the Parrish Campus

The redeveloped Parrish campus will be focused on:

  • High-quality primary care
  • Cancer treatment
  • Professional health education

Owensboro Health remains committed to pursuing opportunities for development of the unused portions of the property to complement the vision for the campus and the community.

Buildings to Remain
By the end of 2014, four structures will remain on the Parrish campus:

  • Breckenridge Medical Office Building
  • Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center
  • The emergency department/maternity building
  • The parking garage

These buildings will be improved and modified for a wide range of uses. They will also serve as home to a variety of Owensboro Health entities and third-party tenants as well.

Also, the Wound Center on the south side of Parrish Avenue will remain.

Buildings to be Removed
The main hospital buildings on the west side of the property, along with the Parrish Medical Plaza, will be razed and removed. This portion of the campus, about 12.5 acres, will be finished as "green space." Click images to enlarge.

Professional Education Services
In addition to current and expanded health services, remaking the Parrish campus will make way for new and existing educational partnerships, such as:

  • University of Louisville nursing program
  • Kosair Children's Hospital Outpatient Center - Owensboro
  • Family medicine residency program

Reducing the square footage from 900,000 to 210,000 at Parrish (plus the 519-space parking garage) will allow Owensboro Health to provide key and complementary services at the site and to offer property facing Triplett Street for new development. 

Owensboro Health to Retain the Property
After 18 months of research, the Owensboro Health Board of Directors concluded that retaining ownership of the Parrish Avenue property is the best way to protect both community and Owensboro Health interests. By holding the site, Owensboro Health can help ensure quality development that positively impacts the neighborhood and the entire community.

How the Redevelopment Plan Was Created

Task Force

  • The plan was created by a redevelopment task force established by the Owensboro Health Board of Directors. The task force included representatives from the board, Owensboro Health administration, and the City of Owensboro.
  • The task force completed 18 months of research, including interviews, case studies and an analysis of the Parrish campus and its buildings.
  • The process included discussions with many national, state and local leaders, as well as land developers and economic development professionals.
  • The task force explored a number of potential uses for the building, including drug treatment, elderly care, indigent care, and the Veteran's Administration. However, none of these ideas were supported with viable business plans, programs or funding.

Goals for Parrish

  • Continue to offer healthcare services to central Owensboro and the region
  • Balance costs and services among other properties owned by Owensboro Health
  • Ensure minimal duplication of services while allowing for the best patient care
  • Avoid long-term nonproductive costs
  • Determine the optimum use and ownership of the property

Community Input

  • Owensboro Health first engaged the Lawrence Group in general facility assessment and invited the public to meetings held at RiverPark Center in 2009.
  • This group of advisers studied numerous alternatives to provide a reuse or economically sound disposition plan that would be supportive of community needs and align with the Owensboro Health mission and values.

Reasons for Redevelopment
The oldest and most difficult buildings to reuse are buried in the core of the hospital complex and have structural issues that are not readily adaptable to modern medical uses.

Other reasons for removing older hospital buildings include:

  • Market analysis shows little economic viability that will support Owensboro Health and community needs
  • Substantial efforts to find buyers for surplus buildings were unsuccessful
  • Costs to maintain the buildings could be as high as $16.6 million over the next ten years

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the plans for Parrish?

The campus will be transformed into primary care and cancer treatment centers with additional focus on health education. The plan will use four of the existing buildings: The Breckenridge medical office building, the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center, the emergency department building and the parking garage. These buildings will be improved and modified to accept a range of uses and accommodate third-party tenants.

The main hospital buildings on the west side of the property, along with the Parrish Medical Plaza, will be razed and removed. This portion of the campus, about 12.5 acres, will be finished as turf.   

What additional options did Owensboro Health consider?

(1) Reduce the campus to about 500,000 square feet, retaining the facilities building and central utility plant, the north annex building, the emergency department building, Breckenridge medical office building and parking garage. This choice would have left about 13 percent of the total space vacant and likely without use in the foreseeable future.

(2) Retain all the buildings in the previous paragraph, plus the bed towers, cafeteria, conference center and Parrish Medical Plaza. Of the total space, 37 percent would likely remain vacant and without use in the foreseeable future.

(3) Retain only the Parrish Medical Plaza, the emergency department building, the Breckenridge medical office building, the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center and the parking garage. In this scenario, 28 percent of the space would likely remain vacant and heating and cooling systems would need to be reconfigured to serve the Parrish Medical Plaza and emergency department buildings.

Why raze the Parrish campus?

After thorough research, detailed study and careful consideration, Owensboro Health recognized that creating a green space where new development could take place would provide the most responsible and prudent decision for both our organization and our community. Leaving 12.5 acres of land with large, vacant buildings would be costly to maintain and could become an eyesore for our community.

Will any jobs be lost as a result of this plan?

No. The demolition of the hospital will not affect employment. About 2,700 of the 3,400 Owensboro Health employees work at the new hospital on Pleasant Valley Road. The Parrish Campus will continue to house about 250 workers, some employed by Owensboro Health and others by the University of Louisville, University of Kentucky or other educational or research partners. Like the new hospital project, however, remaking the Parrish Campus holds promise for job growth.

When will demolition take place?

The demolition is being completed in three (3) phases over an eight-month period.

Phase I - South portion of the demo site
Interior, then exterior. Interior work - removing salvageable materials - began in December 2013. Exterior demolition began in February 2014.

Phase II - North portion of the demo site
Interior, then exterior. Section includes the central utility plant. Demolition will extend into October 2014.

Phase III - IT building
Small, one-story building next to the former emergency department. Due for demolition in October.

During the exterior demolitions, structures will be crushed down in phases - no big bangs or wrecking balls. The demolition contractor (Brandenburg) will be using pincher/excavator machines.

This approach will minimize dust and debris. The contractor will also water down potentially dusty areas.

Renovations on the former emergency/maternity building are set for October.

Reasons for Optimism

The 1995 merger of Owensboro-Daviess County and Mercy hospitals brought concerns about the future of the Mercy Hospital property on Ford Avenue. While much of Mercy was razed, Owensboro Health made a commitment to redevelop the campus.

Today, the Healthpark sits on this site. The Healthpark has set the tone for health and wellness in our region and now serves 5,500 fitness center members, as well as thousands more with education, diagnostic and lab services. Our responsibility to remake the Parrish Campus carries the same level of commitment that we made to remake Mercy Hospital for the benefit of Owensboro and the region. 

Questions or comments? Contact Us 

Plans for Parrish

Services to remain

  • High-quality primary care
  • Cancer treatment
  • Professional health education
  • Business and administrative services

Buildings to Remain

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