POTSDAM Canton-Potsdam Hospital is putting the finishing touches on plans for a $5.5 million expansion to its 49 Lawrence Ave. campus, in order to provide both primary care and urgent care to the region.
Our service area continues to be underserved with respect to primary care. This whole region is underserved, so that didnt surprise us, said Marlinda L. LaValley, vice president for administrative services at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
The new facility will have space for 10 primary-care physicians, as well as an urgent-care facility.
The hospital has been successfully recruiting new physicians to bolster its ranks, but a lack of room led to the need for the new project.
Were out of space to put them, Ms. LaValley said.
The expansion also will include outpatient services such as X-rays, training and educational facilities, and a referral coordinator to help patients navigate their schedules, a first for the hospital.
If all goes according to plan, the project will be complete by Aug. 1.
Workers will begin construction within the next three weeks, assuming the hospitals plans are approved by the St. Lawrence County and Potsdam village planning boards. Work will continue through the winter.
The facility is being designed by Lavallee Brensinger, a Manchester, N.H., architectural firm. Potsdam architect Brooks A. Washburn is acting as a liaison among Lavallee Brensinger, the hospital and local planning boards.
The county Planning Board will vote on the proposal Thursday.
At a Potsdam village Planning Board meeting Thursday, board members expressed concern over the additions system for storm water runoff, because Potsdams storm-water system cannot handle additional water.
Storm-water management is a big issue throughout New York state, Potsdam Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said. We have a very antiquated storm-water system. We need to be very, very vigilant about what we allow into our storm-water system.
To avoid adding to Potsdams storm system, the addition will feature a system of storm drains that lead to large plastic tanks beneath the parking lot, which will channel water into the ground. This is intended to allow storm water to permeate into the soil.
Basically theyre trying to mimic the natural process, Mr. Hanss said.
The village Planning Board will hold a special meeting to vote on the project Nov. 15. Once the storm water question is addressed, Mr. Hanss said, the project likely will be approved.
At least on the face of it, there didnt really seem to be any issues that jumped out at us, he said.
Johnson Newspapers writer Tim Fenster contributed to this report.