HONESDALE – Work began for the expansion of the parking lot at Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) when four buildings were demolished Tuesday.

Pioneer Construction completed the demolition.

The buildings, which are owned by WMH, were primarily used for office space of Human Resources, the foundation, materials management and more.

One of them was previously occupied by renters, but they moved out when WMH purchased the house.

The demolition will make room for 80-100 additional parking spaces.

“Our patient surveys repeatedly tell us parking is an issue,” said Lisa Champeau, public relations manager for WMH.

“We encourage employees to park across the bridge, but sometimes there is still limited parking.”

She added that is partly due to the increase in outpatient volume, which has at least doubled in the last 10 years.

The parking lot is part of the $35 million expansion plan that WMH has. Champeau said the parking lot is the first phase that is set to be completed.

The parking lot will be completed this year.

Another part of the expansion plan is the Heart and Vascular Center at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Champeau said it is already under construction and should be completed by the end of March.

It should be open to the public in early summer.

The center will be located on the third floor of the hospital. Patients will be able to get services such as stent replacements.

In 2017 WMH will break ground for a new patient tower.

“The tower will be off the hospital and extend into the current parking lot,” Champeau stated. “It will be at least two stories high and house primarily private patient rooms.”

The patient tower is expected to be completed by 2018 or the end of 2017.

“A lot of that is weather dependent,” Champeau said.

WMH is also working on building a helipad near Highland Physicians on Route 191. It will allow WMH to be a level four trauma center.

It is anticipated to be be completed this summer.