Antelope Valley Hospital began a new phase of its $32 million renovation yesterday, closing its west entryway in preparation for construction on its new cardiovascular and neurological center of excellence.

The entrance, located off Avenue J and adjacent to the hospital’s emergency department, will close for five to six months, hospital officials said.

Construction work on the new center will involve extensive demolition and remodeling work to the interior areas, hospital officials added, requiring temporary walls to be installed to safeguard the public and staff from injuries. The area will be fenced off and completely inaccessible throughout the construction phase.

Patients, staff and visitors will be able to access the hospital through its entrance at 15th Street West and Avenue J-3. As it’s done in the past, the hospital will continue to offer complimentary valet parking to help through the transition.

“These improvements, though a temporary inconvenience, will help to solidify Antelope Valley Hospital as the region’s destination healthcare facility,” said AVH CEO Edward Mirzabegian.

Over the past 12 months, the Lancaster hospital has made progress on its Master Facility Plan, with several construction projects completed to date and many more moving ahead on schedule, according to the hospital. The hospital has relocated its blood donor center to a larger, remodeled facility in the Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center; it’s moved the Outpatient Laboratory Services Department to a suite in a medical office building adjacent to the hospital. It opened its Comprehensive Wound Healing Center in December and a new cafeteria in February. The parking lots along 15th Street were also expanded and improved.

Judy Temes