Saratoga County

Saratoga Hospital wants to build surgical addition

Saratoga Hospital is seeking the city’s permission to demolish a 100-year-old building on its proper

Saratoga Hospital is seeking the city’s permission to demolish a 100-year-old building on its property and construct a new surgical suite with 10 operating rooms.

The City Council is expected to take a first look tonight at the hospital’s request to change its zoning to allow a 33,900-square-foot surgical suite as an addition to the hospital at Church and Myrtle streets. To create space, the hospital would demolish the Cramer House, which stands next to the hospital emergency room.

The surgical suite would be a three-story addition to the hospital with the ability to expand to five stories in the future, according to a memo from Bradley Birge, city planning and economic development administrator, written to the mayor and city commissioners in advance of tonight’s meeting.

It would house 10 operating rooms, including seven that currently exist and would be moved there from elsewhere in the hospital.

The suite also would include pre- and post-surgery care rooms; areas for pre-admission testing; and a waiting room for patients’ relatives.

Saratoga Hospital spokeswoman Ellen Kerness said Monday that hospital officials would like to wait to discuss the proposal until after tonight’s meeting.

The proposal is in the very early stages. Tonight, the City Council “may entertain whether this petition has ‘merit for review,’ ” Birge wrote in his memo.

If the council decides it does, the request will go to the city Planning Board for an advisory opinion and possibly to the Design Review Commission as well. The council also will seek opinions from the Saratoga County Planning Board, hold a public hearing at a future City Council meeting, and determine what environmental impacts the project would have, Birge wrote.

The existing 10,000-square-foot Cramer House that the hospital would like to demolish is currently home to Saratoga County’s mental health outpatient clinic and administrative offices. The hospital, which rents the building to the county for $223,000 a year, gave the county notice in June 2012 that it will have to vacate the building by this fall.

The county is preparing to renovate a former car dealership on South Broadway as the new home of its Mental Health Department.

In 2006, the hospital considered using the space occupied by Cramer House when it expanded its emergency room, but later scrapped that idea and left the house standing.

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