By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Boca Raton Regional Hospital has grown from its early beginnings of a 100-bed community hospital.
And with the growing number of programs, treatments offered and people in the city, the hospital has outgrown its surface lot parking.
In early 2020, the hospital will have a 972-space parking garage thanks to a $10 million contribution from the Schmidt Family Foundation.
The parking garage is just one component of the hospital’s “Keeping the Promise…The Campaign for Boca Raton Regional Hospital.” The campaign, which was launched in January, aims to raise $250 million. So far, it has raised $150 million.
Joining Barbara and Dick Schmidt, several other involved hospital members have pledged eight-figure donations. Some of their names are already on display in the hospital for their contributions to other initiatives. Donors include, Stanley and Marilyn Barry and the Barry Family Foundation, Louis B. and Anne W. Green Christine E. Lynn — E.M. Lynn Foundation, Billi and Bernie Marcus— Marcus Foundation, Inc. and Elaine J. Wold.
Those donors, hospital employees and city officials attended the ground breaking ceremony for the garage last month.
Part of the parking lot was transformed into a party atmosphere. About 100 guests filled a tent where champagne flowed as the ceremonious first shovels were placed in the ground.
The garage is expected to be complete in early 2020.
Adding more places to park is a part of enhancing the experience patients and visitors have while at the hospital.
“These are exciting times for the hospital,” Chair of the Boca Regional Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees Stanley Barry said, adding this is the most ambitious growth and expansion undertaken in the hospital’s history.
President and CEO of the hospital Jerry Fedele said Schmidt began talking about the parking garage when he was brought on board about 10 years ago.
“This is the most important building and construction at the hospital,” Fedele said of the garage. “It serves everyone.”
He said the garage is the beginning of the next phase of the hospital, which includes a new 180,000-square-foot, seven-story Gloria Drummond Patient Tower, investment in the Marcus Neuroscience Institute and the conversion of all hospital rooms to private rooms with an addition of a 20-bed Observation Unit.
“As amazing as the last 10 years have been, these next 10 years are going to blow by that,” he said. “We are just getting started. This [garage] sets the bar for a new beginning and even creating things to come at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.”
Dick Schmidt said he has been asked by many, Why a parking garage? He said it is all about convenience, access to the hospital and patient satisfaction.
“Their first impression is going to be the parking garage,” he said. “Their last impression is going to be the parking garage. First impressions are very important and last impressions are very important.”