GOSHEN, NY-If “everything goes right” in terms of obtaining the necessary approvals and financing for the venture, officials with Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) here expect they can break ground on a massive new hospital facility on East Main Street in the Town of Wallkill in about 13 months. The hospital, to be built on a 61-acre vacant site, is estimated to cost $372 million to complete.

While ORMC must obtain local site plan approval as well as receive the green light from the New York State Department of Health before it can proceed, groundbreaking for the seven-story, 374-bed facility is expected in November 2007. The hospital will total more than 606,000 sf and include more than 1,600 parking spaces. It is anticipated that the new hospital will be operational in the first quarter of 2011.

The development of the new hospital will eventually allow ORMC to shut down the existing 286-bed Horton Medical Center on Prospect Avenue in Middletown and the 174-bed Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen. Arden Hill Hospital and Horton Medical Center merged in 2002 to become Orange Regional Medical Center. Since the merger, the hospital has focused on consolidating existing resources, eliminating redundancies, expanding services and improving access to necessary services, hospital officials state. The hospital has been successful in its efforts thus far, but has been constrained by the age and physical limitations of existing facilities. Therefore, a decision was made to consolidate the two campuses onto a single site in a new replacement hospital, they add.

Rob Lee, executive vice president, public relations and marketing at ORMC, says, “Once the new hospital is complete, they [Horton and Arden Hill hospitals] will be closed and sold.” Proceeds from those sales will be used to help pay for the new hospital, he adds.

ORMC officials state that several long-term care and senior living providers, as well as educational institutions, have expressed interest in the Horton/Arden Hill sites. A formal study on alternate uses is ongoing.

The new hospital will be located just down the road from the ORMC Medical Pavilion at 75 Crystal Run Road. At present, an 83,000-sf expansion of that facility is nearing completion.

ORMC’s Lee says a soon-to-be-launched capital campaign will look to raise between $20 million to $25 million for the new hospital from private sources. The hospital has also applied for a $24.6-million grant from the New York State Department of Health under the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law. More than 75 % of the project cost will be funded through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds by the New York State Dormitory Authority, which will be repaid from the hospital’s annual operations.

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