Officials unveil site plan for downtown Utica hospital

Published Nov 17, 2017 at 4:00pm

The Mohawk Valley Health System revealed the site plan and outline of its new regional health care campus in Utica Thursday. Though the exterior design is not done, the campus plan is for the 672,000-square-foot facility and 1,550-vehicle parking structure to sit on 25 acres in downtown a few blocks south of Utica Memorial Auditorium. 

The nine-story, 373-bed facility is about 30 percent of the way through the design phase, noted System President Scott H. Perra. It is being designed from the inside out, he said. It will be one of three new hospitals built in the state in the last 20 years, he noted.

The public is invited to learn more about the site plan at a community forum on Thursday, Dec. 7. Two sessions will be held at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre in Utica, at 2 and 6 p.m.

“We are excited to be able to share the site plan and outline of the new hospital and how it fits in the community,” said Perra. “We are designing from the inside out, first looking at the processes to care for the patients and then designing the space to provide the care. We reviewed multiple scenarios for how the hospital footprint, parking garage and parking areas would fit into the final site plan.” The process has also included reviewing six other new hospitals nationwide, he noted.

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said the new hospital will transform the health care residents receive by giving them a state-of-the-art facility, “the highest level of medical technology and a team of doctors, specialists, surgeons and caregivers that will allow them to be adequately treated right here in the Mohawk Valley.” He commended Mohawk Valley Health System for utilizing “a long-neglected area of Utica to provide optimal hospital access while at the same time helping to revitalize the downtown area.” He noted that a community can have jobs, recreation, entertainment, sports and other quality of life factors, “but if we don’t take care of our people...then we’re not going to move forward.”

“The site plan announcement is another positive step in making this once in a lifetime and transformational project a reality,” said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. “Our region deserves a state of the art medical facility and through strong partnerships in the public and private sectors, as well as, community organizations and academic institutions the medical campus will come to fruition.”

“Today’s announcement is another step in a long process aimed at bringing more advanced and quality healthcare options to the residents of the Mohawk Valley,” said state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome. “I look forward to working with them to bring a 21st century medical facility to the region.”

“The unveiling of the site plan for the region’s new health care campus is certainly a major step forward,” said Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica. “It is good to see plans take shape for a hospital that will provide the newest technology to patients in a modern, comfortable environment that emphasizes patient privacy. Creating a new healthcare campus in a central location will benefit many local residents, and I look forward to see the design of this new facility evolve.”

MVHS submitted the Certificate of Need application for the new hospital to the state Department of Health early this month. The design process will continue and be ongoing into 2019. 

The System will begin working with downtown property owners for acquisition of land. The state has committed to $300 million for the project.

Next in the process comes the public information forums. Then, next year, the team will begin the permitting process with the environmental review and the design team will continue to develop the site plan along with the character of the campus landscape and the interior and exterior character of the project.

The groundbreaking is expected in 2019.

The plan shows a building bound by Lafayette Street on the north side, Broadway on the east side, Columbia Street on the south side and a block of new green space to the west that could include the room for a helipad. Part of Lafayette Street would be closed to vehicular traffic. A 500-space parking lot would be across Columbia Street, a 200-space lot between the hospital and the Aud and a 1,550-space parking garage northwest of the hospital.