SCHENECTADY — Ellis Medicine’s plans to replace its aging Nott Street parking garage have been delayed as the hospital continues to research how to fund the project.
Plans to replace the four-story, 740-spot parking structure constructed in the 1970s with a new six-story garage and room for 1,200 vehicles were approved by the city’s Planning Commission in February, with construction expected to begin this summer.
But work on the project has been delayed due to increased costs, according to Philip Schwartz, a hospital spokesperson.
“We’re still moving forward with the parking garage, but like everything these days, the fluctuations in the capital markets have meant that we’ve had to do additional research and budgeting for the project,” Schwartz said in an email.
The project was originally estimated to cost around $30 million and take approximately 16 months to complete, but Schwartz said its unclear what the final cost will end up being or when construction will begin.
The current parking structure has outgrown its use and costs the hospital thousands in annual maintenance.
Prices have been on the rise for months as the country continues to grapple with the worst inflation since the 1980s, which has driven up the cost of everything from food to energy prices.
The Consumer Price Index, or the average change in prices, rose by 0.1% in August, bringing the total index to 8.3% over the last 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price index was 8.5% in July, but a 10.7% drop in gasoline prices lowered the overall rate.
Still, prices for food, housing and medical supplies were all up, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Building materials have risen sharply in recent months, including concrete, which is what the new parking structure would be made of.
Last month, the National Association of Home Builders reported building material costs have climbed 35.7% since January 2020, with 80% of the increase occurring since January 2021.
Concrete prices have steadily climbed during that same period, increasing 17 of the last 18 months, with ready-mix concrete products growing 6.8% in price between July 2021 and July 2022 — the sharpest rise in 34 years, according to the NAHB.
Other concrete products have surged in price during the same period, including finished concrete products, which climbed 14.4% in price, and structural concrete blocks, which saw 13% price increase.
Concrete pipes and prestressed concrete products have also climbed 21% and 30%, respectively, between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the NAHB.
Schwartz, meanwhile, said the hospital is continuing to research a final cost for the project and will provide updates to the community on when construction is expected to begin as they become available.
“As the project moves forward, we will be relying on the local media to help communicate the construction issues to local residents,” he said.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.