New front entrance project will modernize facility, ease access
The John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock is getting a major face lift as construction is set to begin on a new main entrance that will modernize the building, provide easier drop-off of patients, and add important security measures.
The $8.7 million project is slated to take about 15 months for completion and will be accomplished in five phases. The project will close the hospital’s south entrance for about nine months as part of the 4th phase. Parking will be affected in the hospital’s south lots.
“This is a major step forward for our Veterans and visitors,” said Dr. Margie Scott, Medical Center director. “Easier access, clear signage, bright lighting, and beautiful landscaping will bring our wonderful hospital into the modern age and give the Little Rock skyline something to be proud of.”
The McClellan VA hospital, dedicated and opened in 1984, has undergone several internal updates over the past five years, including new flooring, safety systems, and modern surgical and clinical suites.
The project will transform the south side of the hospital, and will include:
- New physical security that includes anti-ram bollards, anchored planters, increased lighting, and no vehicle parking within 50 feet of the building.
- New traffic flow and patient drop-off area that includes a two-lane, one-way, entry road with covered pedestrian areas, covered connectivity between the hospital’s two patient entries, dedicated parking for emergency vehicles and shuttles, and a three-way intersection allowing easy entry into parking areas or easy exit from the facility.
- New signage that clearly marks areas for quick access to clinical areas, roadway markings to help with traffic flow, easy entry off W. 7th Street and closer to freeway exit, and a new main entrance sign that reflects the modern design.
- Contemplation and Healing garden areas that are aesthetically pleasing, calming, and shaded.
- A new stunning flag plaza prominently placed to be seen from I-630 that features benches and plants and is dedicated to military branches and major conflicts.
- New covered drop-off and pedestrian areas that feature a lengthy area for safe patient drop-off and pick up, covered walking and entry areas, and bright lights to improve safety.
The project is slated to be completed in five phases:
- Phases 1 to 3 are renovations to the building’s ground floor Research Service laboratories to accommodate a temporary relocation of the Veterinary Medical Unit.
- Phase 4a will remove and relocate to North Little Rock some solar panel sections.
- Phase 4b will close the south entrance for approximately nine months and represents the major portion of the project.
- Phase 4c will be construction of the new three-way intersection, parking lot access points and facility exit.
- Phase 5 will bring the Veterinary Medical Unit back to its original location.
The 15-month project will severely affect vehicular and pedestrian traffic at the hospital and will narrow parking options mostly in the south side of the facility. Veterans, caregivers, visitors, and staff are asked to be patient while the project moves forward.
Learn more about this exciting project.