Poughkeepsie council members impressed with planned VBMC expansion


Project rendering

POUGHKEEPSIE – Health Quest’s planned major expansion of its flagship facility is getting solid support from the Poughkeepsie Common Council. 
The council listened to a presentation on how city abandonment of a small stretch of Livingston Street, in front of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, is needed to facilitate the project.  Two residents then spoke during a brief public hearing, with both supporting the hospital.
While the presentation and hearing were billed as relating specifically to the abandonment, VBMC President Ann McMackin and Senior Vice President Tim Massie presented an update on the overall $466 million project and how they say it will “change the face of health care” in Poughkeepsie. 
“We’re replacing all of the adult medical-surgical beds, which are all doubles now, with private rooms,” McMackin said.  “We’re also replacing all of the critical care beds with new critical care, probably 30 critical care beds, replacing the entire emergency department.”
Massie said they have already committed to a PILOT agreement to compensate both the city and school district for taxes.  He said they are working with the City of Poughkeepsie on project specifics.
Massie also emphasized what he said would be an economic gain for the city.
“A lot of the folks who are going to be working here are going to choose to live in the City of Poughkeepsie, so, there are a number of opportunities there to increase the purchasing of homes in the City of Poughkeepsie by employees who are coming there,”
When asked for a number, Massie said he would estimate perhaps 20 new jobs.
Typical of council reaction came from Lee David Klein, whose ward includes Vassar Brothers.  People in the area are “okay with this,” he said.
“The idea of having a world-class in the City of Poughkeepsie here is something that we have cherished, so, Mr. Chairman, I thank the folks here for their presentation and advise you and my colleagues that, our colleagues, that I am very supportive,” Klein said.
One of the residents who spoke, Ken Stickle, was born at Vassar Brothers. 
“Just looking at the design of the building, I’m going to say this is going to bring us into the 25th century,” Stickle said.
The tentative timeline is for groundbreaking in the fall with the addition
up and running by January of 2019. 

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