Some big changes have been proposed for a landmark Lexington hospital. UK and Shriners Hospitals for Children are talking about building a new facility on South Limestone across from the UK Medical Center.
If that project goes forward, what would happen to the current Shriners Hospital, which sits along Richmond Road in the middle of an upscale neighborhood?
People living right off Richmond Road, within walking distance of Shriners Hospitals for Children, are having a hard time parting with the place.
"They're very wonderful about letting the children play on their hills in the winter when it snows, and we always enjoy watching the fireworks at Idle Hour on the 4th of July," explained neighbor Linda Price.
The hospital that's been at the location for more than 50 years is soon moving. The University of Kentucky announced it's in talks with Shriners to move the facility closer to campus.
"We wish them well, and all our blessings, but we would love to see somebody similar to that come back in there and not see the zoning change," said the neighborhood association's president Randy Master.
One thing neighbors would hate to see disappear with Shriners Hospital, is all the green space.
"You have a beautiful facade set way back on a beautiful lawn that people equate with Lexington and good neighbors and a great neighbor history," noted Lexington Councilmember Bill Farmer. Farmer says Shriners is discussing with similar organizations the possibility of buying the property.
"I think the kindred fraternal organization for them, the Masonic Homes of Kentucky will in all likelihood come in and put a facility in there to help people who are older or a little bit further along."
UK will discuss the land lease for Shriners Hospitals for Children at their next Board of Trustees meeting on September 11th.