Memorial Hospital is set to start construction soon on its new location at 1605 Loucks Road. However, that means the walking tails at the former Hawk Lake Golf Course are closing.

Starting Monday, March 21, the trails will be closed to the public until construction of the new facility is completed in late 2017, said Jason McSherry, community relations and marketing for Memorial.

“Of course we want to encourage people to take on physical activities,” he said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends walking to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.”

Some community members such as John Knaub visit the trails multiple times a week for exercise.

“It’s a nice place to walk,” Knaub said. “This is convenient. I live right alongside it. Everybody walks their dogs here.”

The West Manchester Township man said he will miss being able to walk somewhere so close to home. However, there are many options for him to explore.

“There are parks about a mile away,” he said.

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McSherry said there are multiple options such as parks for people to continue their walking habits.

“During our time of construction, we’re fortunate to live in a community with so many parks and trail systems,” he said. “There’s the Heritage Rail Trail and county parks people can go to. Of course there are state parks, too.”

However, people who love the trails in that area will have them to travel again after construction is complete. McSherry said the construction plans include rerouting the trails to accommodate the hospital.

“We’ve always made sure we’ve had the walking paths included in the final project,” he said.

Memorial bought the site near Loucks and Kenneth roads in 2008 and has been planning a new facility there since that time. The new hospital will be four levels and have 102 beds, with all private rooms, the hospital said.

It will also include a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), something not offered at the current hospital.

The new facility will replace the current hospital in Spring Garden Township.

Site preparations begin Monday, March 21, for a new roadway that will provide access to the property from both Loucks Road and Roosevelt Avenue. The new road will be named Old Memorial Way.

– Reach Katherine Ranzenberger at

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