Obici officials: Use the valet

Published 6:45 pm Friday, January 6, 2017

Sentara Obici Hospital is reminding patients and visitors about its valet service in preparation for a few weeks of heavy construction on the Godwin Boulevard campus.

Construction of a new, 20,000-square-foot medical building has started in the south parking lot of the campus, between the main building and the ambulatory surgery center.

“For the next six to eight weeks, it’s really going to be a mess here,” said Dr. Steve Julian, president of Sentara Obici Hospital. “For the next couple months, we are really going to have some challenges here.”

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The new building, which will include family practice and occupational medicine offices, should be completed by summer. But for the next few weeks, other parts of the campus will be affected because of the need to run utilities to the site.

“We’re going to be tearing up the parking lot beyond the footprint of the new building,” Julian said. “We built two additional, new parking lots, so we’ve increased capacity, but it’s still going to be messy here for a while. We’re doing all of this to make our campus more robust and make it a better destination for patients, but there’s always a little pain in the process.”

For the convenience of patients and visitors, the hospital is beefing up efforts to let people know about the valet parking service.

The valet parking service started last summer but has not been used to its full potential, Julian said.

“Patients are saying, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be great to have a valet service here,” Julian said. “I guess they’re just not expecting it.”

Randy Vick, director of facilities for Sentara Obici Hospital, said the valet service initially handled up to 50 cars a day, but that has dwindled to about 30 cars a day.

“I wasn’t anticipating a high volume of service,” he said, noting that there are few, if any, other valet services in Suffolk.

The valet service is free, Julian added.

“You can tip the valets if you want to, but that is not required or expected necessarily,” he said.

The valet service runs from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. After 2 p.m., the security personnel can help retrieve cars for those who used the valet service earlier.

A golf cart service is also available to get people to and from their vehicles.

“I think it would make people’s lives a lot better over the next couple of months while we have the parking lots torn up,” Julian said.

“We’re trying to push Obici Hospital to higher levels of service than anybody’s ever seen,” he added. “The valet service really fits with this building program.”