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Shands begins first step in guest house construction

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Shands at the University of Florida announced Thursday in a news release that the hospital has begun the process of building a guest house for outpatients and families.

The Shands Guest House will allow Shands outpatients, the patients’ family members and the patients’ caretakers to rent a suite near the hospital. The facility will be built on the former site of Rush Lake Motel off Southwest 16th Avenue.

The cost of staying at the facility, which will be managed by an independent company, will be comparable to a normal hotel room, said Brad Pollitt, Shands vice president of facilities. The company that will manage the facility has not been hired. 

Demolition will continue through the summer, and construction on the $30 million facility is expected to begin in the fall. The guest house is scheduled to open by the end of 2014, according to the release.

Pollitt said the guest house will help provide peace of mind for patients and their families.

“It’s very convenient to have a place immediately across the street where you can sleep at night and know that you can get to your loved one quickly and easily,” he said.

The facility will offer 150 suites, laundry facilities, a dining area and a common lounge area. Limited food service, such as a breakfast bar, snacks and refreshments, will be provided.

“This is an entirely new resource for our patients and their families at Shands,” Pollitt said.

Cassandra Ganter wrote this story online.

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