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CHA to conduct study on repurposing MVHS facilities

By Eric Reinhardt


The St. Luke’s campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica is part of an upcoming study that CHA, an Albany–based engineering-consulting firm that has a Syracuse office, will conduct. The study will determine the “potential repurposing” of current MVHS facilities as the organization develops a new hospital campus in downtown Utica. (PHOTO CREDIT: Mohawk Valley Health System website)

UTICA — An Albany–based firm is preparing to conduct a study on the “potential repurposing” of the existing facilities of the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS).

MVHS and the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties have selected CHA Consulting, Inc. to handle the work. CHA is an engineering-consulting firm that is headquartered in the Capital District, but also has an office in Syracuse.

The study will begin “in the next few weeks,” MVHS said in a news release. The repurposing project will look at the potential reuse of the three main MVHS campuses — which include St. Luke’s, St. Elizabeth, and Faxton — as MVHS develops a new downtown Utica health-care campus.

Based on prior assessments, MVHS has indicated the Faxton campus will likely remain open. It provides services that include cancer treatment and outpatient rehabilitation.

MVHS noted that it will include Faxton in the study to “ensure that keeping it open best meets the needs of MVHS and the community.” 

“Since we announced the new [downtown Utica] hospital project, one of the main questions from the community has been ‘what will happen to the old facilities,’” Robert Scholefield, executive VP/COO of MVHS, said in the release. “An important component of the study will involve community input. I see this as a vital piece of the study as it provides those who live near the current facilities the ability to provide input as to how the old buildings should be used. I’m excited for this study to begin so we can start to gain a better idea of how the old buildings can be used once we move to the new facility.”

CHA’s scope of services for the study involves five “broad” components for the three MVHS campuses. They include market research and analysis; zoning analysis; hazardous-material assessment; preliminary conditions assessment; and redevelopment-scenario analysis. 

Incorporating these components into the repurposing project will help MVHS develop a plan for the facilities that “fits in” with the long-term development plans of the surrounding municipalities and allows the facilities to become “positive economic contributors to the area,” the organization said.

Joseph Wicks, special projects manager at the Community Foundation, said, “This study is critical to identifying the best opportunities for reusing those properties and enhancing their neighborhoods. We look forward to supporting this effort and engaging with community residents and other partners, throughout the course of the study and beyond.” 

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