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Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has been given the green light by the city of SLO to begin construction of a five-story parking structure and 45,000 square feet of medical offices.

The office building will stand on top of the current parking lot at Sierra Vista. A spokesman for the hospital, Ron Yukelson, identified a shortage in affordable medical space as one of the largest issues contributing to an overall shortage of physicians in SLO. The new facility will be able to house 20 private-practice physicians.

The building's cost is an estimated $10 million, when finished. But before it can start, the hospital must build a parking structure to accommodate an expanding staff and patient population.

That structure will sit four stories above ground with one story underground at the corner of Casa Street and Desert. It's expected to offer 523 spaces with about half reserved for the new medical building.

In addition to the revamped infrastructure, the hospital has received funding for technology upgrades, expansion and remodeling of the delivery and neonatal care unit, as well as improvements to the intensive care unit. Construction is scheduled to begin before the end of 2006, and to be completed by early 2008. ...

On Aug. 12, Williams Flooring America in Atascadero organized its inaugural 5K walk-a-thon to benefit the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign. Go Red launched in early 2004 to combat heart disease, currently the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. The disease is preventable in many cases through good diet and healthy lifestyle choices. While the exact amount raised at the event is not yet known, Williams Flooring has pledged to raise $250,000 with more fund-raisers and by donating a percentage of profits from selected products to the American Heart Association. For more info, contact Trici Pollard at 466-9748 or trici@williamsflooringamerica.com. ?

New Times contributor Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to kvelie@newtimesslo.com.

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