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St. Joseph’s breaks ground on 181,100-square-foot expansion

By Rick Seltzer


SYRACUSE  —  St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center led off a new expansion phase with a groundbreaking ceremony this morning at the corner of East Laurel Street and Prospect Avenue.

The expansion project will add 181,100 square feet to the hospital’s facilities. It will include operating rooms, a perianesthesia care unit, intensive-care units, private patient rooms, family waiting areas, and a central sterile unit, which is the area of the hospital that sterilizes and distributes equipment and instruments.

St. Joseph’s expects building the new expansion will cost $140 million. The work follows an earlier phase of expansion that cost $80 million and wrapped up earlier this year when the hospital opened a new 140,000-square-foot emergency services building. That building included a new emergency room that opened Feb. 1.

“Since we opened our new emergency room, we’ve just seen a tremendous increase in business,” says St. Joseph’s President and CEO Kathryn Ruscitto. “This project is a tremendous companion to that. The sooner we can get it done, the better.”

Ruscitto wants the newly started construction to be complete in 14 to 18 months, she says. The hospital is financing the work using $177 million in bonding from Onondaga County, along with financing from hospital fundraising and cash reserves. It is also using a $2.5 million economic development grant from New York State’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.

St. Joseph’s projects that the latest expansion will require it to add 150 new health-care positions. Syracuse–based Hayner Hoyt Corp. is the project’s general contractor, and Syracuse–based King + King Architects, LLP is handling design.

In addition to the physical expansion, the project will add green space and campus lighting to the north end of St. Joseph’s campus. It will also create a greenway connection to North Side businesses.

“We’re actually going to have a patient park that connects to the community,” Ruscitto says. “We’re going to build staircases that go down on the side of the campus that faces the restaurants. Our goal is that this be a very vibrant area.”

The nonprofit St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a 431-bed hospital and health-care system that serves Onondaga County and 15 surrounding counties. It is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis.

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