UTICA- A concrete barrier surrounds the hospital site, officially marking the construction zone in downtown Utica.
Over the next ten business days, a fence will be installed to prepare for a construction zone.
The properties that are surrounded are the properties that MVHS has acquired and where the hospital itself will stand.
MVHS officials are waiting on the necessary permits from the city of Utica, and others, to begin demolition work and prepare the site for the foundation. "Initially some work that will be done is environmental testing of the buildings within the footprint. Once that's completed we will have a clearer understanding of how we remediate the properties that may have some hazardous materials in them," said MVHS Executive President, Bob Scholefield.
In May, the No Hospital Downtown group filed a lawsuit against the Mohawk Valley Health System, the Utica City Planning Board, the State Office of Parks and Reacreation and Historic Preservation, and the Dorm Authority of New York.
The group filed the lawsuit in Albany. Members said they decided to do that because two of the companies are based there and they have a fair shake.
Oral arguments regarding the lawsuit are schedule to happen on October 31 in Supreme Court. The Judge will hear from both sides.
"All heck could break loose once you break ground because we have no idea and they have no idea the extent of what is underneath that property, certainly they have underbudgeted for any remediation in that foot print," said Jim Brock with the No Downtown Hospital.
MVHS is expected to break ground before the end of the year.