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MVHS begins selection process for architectural and engineering firm, construction manager for new hospital

UTICA, N.Y. — Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to architects, engineers and construction managers for the design and construction of the new hospital.

MVHS is an affiliation of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center (SEMC), both of Utica. The two organizations teamed up in March 2014.

“We have sent the information to 14 architects, 11 engineers and seven construction management firms, all of which have extensive experience in healthcare projects that are the size, scope and complexity of the proposed MVHS project,” Robert Scholefield, executive VP and COO at MVHS, said in the organization’s news release issued Sept. 20. “We anticipate that this next phase will take several months to finalize as we meet with the companies best suited for this complex and exciting project. More than half the firms we have contacted have offices in New York State. Our goal throughout the project is to use, whenever possible, resources from our region. Several of the companies we have spoken with make it a practice to subcontract with local companies.”


As the vetting process continues for the design, build, and construction management of the new hospital, the appraisal teams are scheduled to begin their work in late September, MVHS said.

The appraisal companies have sent letters to the downtown property owners and are working with Mohawk Valley EDGE to begin the valuation process, which is anticipated to take between 60 and 90 days.

It’s “very important” that MVHS “continue to move forward with the project,” Scott Perra, president and CEO of MVHS, said in the release.

“We continue to work with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Gov. Cuomo’s office on the final disposition of the $300 million designated for the project. Officials in Albany tell us they are getting close to their final recommendation and the requirements that we will need to meet. It has taken longer than we anticipated but this is a unique ‘gift’ that we are receiving and one that does not have precedence. This is a new process for everyone,” said Perra.

MVHS will build the new hospital on about 25 acres in the city of Utica, anticipating it will help “spur economic development” both in downtown Utica and also in the region, the organization contends.

Process continues
MVHS officials recently visited Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York in Orange County.

Orange Regional is a new hospital that opened in August 2011, the result of a three-hospital merger.

Perra called the trip to Orange Regional “very enlightening.”

“They were very receptive to our questions and provided great suggestions for us as we begin our planning. One thing they did not anticipate was the increased use of their emergency services. They found with a new hospital that more people traveled to come to the new facility. Even as they opened their doors, they were preparing for an expansion of the emergency department. That was helpful advice to us as we begin to look at the surrounding area, the patients we currently serve and potential patients,” said Perra.

Even with “all of this activity,” Perra reminds the community that the approval process still has “multiple steps.”

“We have to finalize the plan with the NYSDOH on securing the $300 million and also finalize the process they want us to follow to complete and file a certificate of need (CON). Any offers made to property owners will be contingent on receiving the CON from New York State. We can’t move forward without that,” said Perra.

With the delays from NYSDOH in the disposition of the $300 million, MVHS officials have also adjusted the estimated timeline to make purchase offers to property owners may not happen until late 2017.

Construction would then begin in the second quarter of 2018, MVHS added.

Contact Reinhardt at


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