Canton-Potsdam Hospital clears hurdle for expansion

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Canton-Potsdam Hospital has gotten a key approval it needs to grow. It wants to greatly expand its emergency department and add a new wing for patient rooms.

The emergency department can get crowded. Once in, patients sometimes are held there until a regular hospital room opens up. Wednesday night, the village board took a first step to alleviating that.

“Just weighing the benefits, I felt that it was so beneficial to our community. And it’s an investment in our health and our lives. It’s one that’s worthwhile,” said Alexandra Jacobs-Wilke, Potsdam village trustee.

Village trustees vote 4-to-0 to rezone areas along three streets adjacent to the hospital. It will allow the hospital to construct more patient rooms in a new three- or four-story building. A new, bigger emergency department is planned.

“Our healthcare facility is of utmost importance. I think it’s especially important to have a facility like that within the heart of of the village,” said Jacobs-Wilke.

Almost all adjacent homes are owned by the hospital. But on the opposite side of Waverly Street most are not. There, residents had concerns they voiced earlier this month. The village planning board still has to approve site plans.

“The public will be able to weigh in, neighbors will be able to weigh in through that process. And the planning board advises on all aspects,” said Jacobs-Wilke.

A medical office building constructed two years ago was the most recent addition to the land-locked medical campus.

If plans for the new patient wing and emergency department clear regulatory hurdles, construction could begin next year. It will take at least a couple years to build.

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