Stanford University Medical Center has offered to relocate a day care center to another campus site to appease a large group of parents who believe Stanford's hospital-expansion project would threaten their children's health, a spokesperson for the parents said Monday night.
The compromise was announced at Monday's Palo Alto City Council meeting by Laura Pisani, who spoke on behalf of the Arboretum Parent Board. The announcement came a week after a large group of day care parents and children attended a council meeting to complain about Stanford's environmental analysis for its $5 billion hospital expansion.
The group, composed of Stanford University professors and employees, argued that the Environmental Impact Report for the hospital expansion failed to adequately analyze the project's impact on the day care center, which stands next to the proposed location for a parking garage. Parents said they were particularly concerned about the effect of construction-related noise and pollution on their children. To address their concerns, Stanford and the city agreed last week to delay the final vote on the expansion project until the middle of July.
Since then, Pisani said, Stanford officials have met with parents from the day care and have agreed to move the center to another location while construction is happening. Pisani said the parents group is now "optimistic" that a satisfactory solution is emerging.
Stanford Hospital officials have identified a campus location -- a parking lot near the intersection Campus Drive West and Stock Farm Road -- at which they could put in modular buildings to house a temporary day care center. Stanford would need to get a permit from Santa Clara County before it could set up the new day care center.
Sarah Staley, spokesperson for Stanford University Medical Center, said hospital officials had a productive meeting with day care parents on Monday.
Stanford has agreed to delay construction on the new garage until the day care center is relocated, she said. The hospital will, however, proceed with construction inside Hoover Pavilion, Staley said. She said Stanford would put in mitigations to address sound and dust impacts from construction and will consider evening and weekend construction when site work threatens to be disruptive.
The agreement, once finalized, would allow Stanford to proceed with its colossal expansion project, which includes reconstruction of Stanford Hospital & Clinics, an expansion of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and renovations to various Stanford University School of Medicine buildings. The project is intended to upgrade existing hospital facilities, add beds to the two hospitals and seismically retrofit all the buildings.
Stanford officials said last week that they believe their environmental analysis was adequate and attributed the parents' concerns to inadequate communication between the day care officials and parents. The council approved the expansion on June 6 after 97 public hearings and was scheduled to do a "second reading" of its approval last week -- a largely procedural action.
The second reading is now scheduled for July 11.