November 14, 2017
UTICA, N.Y. – Since January, Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has engaged internal and external participants to help guide the development of the new regional integrated healthcare campus.
“For the design process it is vital that we have the hands-on participation of the employees and medical staff who will be working in the new facility as well as feedback from the community,” stated Kim Way, principal/urban design and planning, NBBJ, architectural design firm for the project. “That involvement helps to ensure the facility functions in a way that allows the staff to provide the best care possible to their patients. The input from the community helps us to provide a look and atmosphere that fits into the overall vision for downtown Utica revitalization.”
Employees, medical staff and project partners gather regularly at the project’s “Design Center,” located at the St. Elizabeth Campus, to participate in the design process for the new facility. On the wall of the center is the project’s vision statement: To create an advanced healthcare campus for MVHS through design that promotes the health of patients, optimizes the work environment for caregivers and serves as a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Utica.
In addition to internal discussions, MVHS and its project support teams have engaged more than 2,000 individuals throughout the community to gather feedback to be considered during the design of the Regional Healthcare Campus.
Community input has been gathered through more than 100 meetings, from personal interviews, to small group meetings, to two major community forums thus far. A sample of participants in these discussions include representatives from: AUD Authority, Bagg’s Square Association, Cornhill Neighborhood Association, The Community Foundation, Court Street Children’s Center, Downtown Utica Committee, East Utica Concerned Citizens Neighborhood Watch Association, Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Point Local Development Corporation,, Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, NAACP, RCIL, Oneida County Legislators, The Parkway Center, Utica Comets, Utica Common Council, Utica Rotary Club, West Side Senior Center, and West Utica Concerned Citizens.
“The community input we’ve received has been valuable in helping the design team to understand key considerations as they progress,” said Nancy Pattarini, president/CEO of The Paige Group, a member of the project’s public participation team. “There were several reoccurring themes and the information and perspectives gathered through these discussions have been used to develop a set of guiding principles.”
- Preserve the street grid as much as possible
- Consider how the height of the building fits in with the Utica skyline
- Incorporate green space
- Promote connectivity with the surrounding neighborhoods
- Allow for aesthetic views (healing, artistic, attractive, etc.)
- Incorporate features that accommodate four-season weather conditions
- Contribute to vibrancy of the city with features that are favorable to surrounding late-night activity
- Ensure a traffic plan that takes into consideration both hospital needs and the surrounding business and residential needs
- Incorporate features that promote transportation alternatives to cars (walking, biking, etc.)
- Include a parking plan that considers both hospital needs and the surrounding business and residential needs
- Consider the historic nature of buildings around the new hospital and how to blend them into the new cityscape
- Consider both the old and the new aspects of Utica, including nearby landmark sites of Utica (Stanley, Union Station, etc.)
- Seek to preserve some buildings for other medical and business uses (adaptive reuse)
- Be supportive of development surrounding the campus
- Promote first-level business/retail space and upper-level housing space
- Consider other urban redevelopment plans underway
- Integrate/enhance/help promote these other initiatives.
Many of the guiding principles are evident in the site plan which is an important component for the Certificate of Need (CON) application. MVHS representatives have been working with State officials regarding the announcement of the site plan and filing the application for the CON, which was submitted in early November. The CON required 30 percent of the hospital design to be complete upon submission. The design process will continue and be ongoing into 2018. The site plan will be publicly unveiled later this week, and a community forum will be held in the next few weeks. The forum will provide an opportunity to further discuss the details of the site plan and next steps in the project, including the completion of the design.
For more information, including project updates and timeline, or to provide feedback on the project, please visit www.mvhealthsystem.org/about/new-beginning.