St. Mary’s eyes start of project

AMSTERDAM – St. Mary’s Healthcare is hoping to get work started before the winter on its proposed health pavilion at the Amsterdam Memorial Campus.

Charles Dumas – one of the hospital’s attorneys, of Lemery Greisler Law Firm – said St. Mary’s is hoping to get some of the necessary work at the site done before the winter arrives. The winter weather could affect the cost of the project by tens of thousands of dollars, he said.

Dumas was in front of the town Planning Board on Wednesday. He asked the board to allow the certificate of need from the state Department of Health to come through before the town issues a certificate of occupancy. The board approved the request.

“This will enable us to start construction in the current season without having to sustain the extra expense of winter conditions,” Dumas said.

The 41,000-square-foot building will house an urgent care facility as well as oncology and radiology departments. The current urgent care facility at the Memorial Campus will relocate to the new building. The estimated cost of the project is $15 million to $20 million.

Dumas said St. Mary’s is currently waiting for a certificate of need from the state Department of Health. The application for the certificate was given to the state in April.

According to the state Department of Health, the purpose of a certificate of need is to ensure services are needed within the community by limiting investment in duplicate beds, services and medical equipment which, in turn, limits associated health care costs.

Dumas said he believes St. Mary’s is in a good position to get certificate since the new urgent care facility will be more modern.

Dumas said St. Mary’s won’t start construction until it is certain it will receive the certificate of need from the state Department of Health.

“No shovel will go into the ground unless it is a relative certainty,” Dumas said.