Two building projects are in progress at the site.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Expansion and new development at the St. Elizabeth Health Center Boardman campus continues to move forward with the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a new emergency and diagnostic-care facility.
The $14 million, 56,000-square-foot facility on Market Street will replace the modular building that has served as the emergency building since January 2001. Humility of Mary Health Partners received a three-year permit for the modular building, and that expires in early 2004. The new building is scheduled to be completed by September 2003, at which time the modular building will be taken down.
Christopher J. McCarty, regional director of communications for HMHP, said the hospital is keeping pace with the changing demographics of the area. Increasing services to this section of the county is vital, he said.
"Last year more than 14,000 patients came through the doors here," said McCarty. "This is a growing area and we really felt the need to continue to expand in this area."
The new facility will be much larger and equipped to handle much more traffic than the emergency facility at the hospital could handle in the past. There will be 14 beds for emergency care in the new building, compared with six in the current building.
McCarty said the new emergency center will also house expanded radiology services, ultrasound, mammography, lab services, pulmonary and neurology testing, diabetes education and community classrooms.
Michael Rowan, president and CEO, said the added services are a major benefit to residents in the area. He said those in need of services that require a trip to the main campus near downtown Youngstown will be able to have most of that work done closer to home.
Mary Harvey, HMHP spokesperson, said there will likely be a medical office building also built on the site with a connector to the new emergency building. The specifics of the office building have not yet been worked out. Harvey said HMHP representatives want to touch base with interested physicians to determine exactly what is needed in the facility.
According to Harvey, the hospital is looking into other projects at the site, but she could not comment on those because they are in the early stages of development.
YMCA next door
With the groundbreaking for the emergency facility, crews will be working on two separate projects just a few feet apart. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March at the same site for a $12 million suburban YMCA facility, which will closely mirror the downtown Youngstown facility minus a few amenities, such as racquetball and Hammer Strength weight-training equipment.
The YMCA building and the new emergency facility will be separate buildings, though HMHP has partnered with the YMCA in building the YMCA facility. The building is expected to be completed in early 2003.