MVHS breaks ground for downtown Utica hospital project

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UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — Weeks after building demolition began, Mohawk Valley Health System ceremonially broke ground, Thursday, for a downtown Utica hospital project.

The nine-story building is poised to sit between State Street and Broadway, and Lafayette and Columbia Streets.

According to MVHS, all properties within the footprint of the proposed hospital building have been acquired, while property acquisition deals are ongoing in areas allotted for parking.

Four ‘no to sale’ holdouts are within the footprint of the proposed parking garage–which Oneida County will be responsible to negotiate deals for, if MVHS does not reach them.

MVHS says the project is expected to run through early 2023 at a cost of $548 million, and is backed by a $300 state grant.

Properties in the Columbia-Lafayette neighborhood began coming down in October, and MVHS says crews will continue to level structures throughout the winter.

MVHS Executive Vice President and COO, Robert Scholefield says soil stabilization efforts will mobilize once demolition is complete.

“In other words, making the ground under the building ready to accept a foundation. And, at which point, we expect the foundation to begin in probably March of 2020,” Scholefield said.

In addition, Scholefield told Eyewitness News that the MVHS ‘repurposing study’ is complete–which is expected to analyze potential reuse of existing Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital.

On Thursday, Scholefield said the MVHS Board of Directors still need to be briefed on the study’s findings, prior to public dissemination.

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