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Approval process of Saratoga Hospital expansion moving along

The Saratoga Springs Planning Board gave a (non-approval) approval on Wednesday night for an expansion of the Saratoga Hospital.

The hospital wants to expand its number of operating rooms from seven to 10, with a 33,900-square-foot surgical suite as an addition to the hospital at Church and Myrtle streets. In order to create the space, the hospital would demolish the Cramer House, which stands next to the hospital emergency room.

Because the Saratoga Springs City Council is the only body that can approved the planned unit development amendment the hospital is requesting, the Planning Board issued a non-binding approval that moved the proposal along. If the City Council approves the amendment, the hospital can start construction after the county moves out of the Cramer House.

UPDATE: Mike Ingersoll, principal from the LA group, said in an email, the project "still needs approvals from planning and design review after and if the council grants the amendment before anything can be built."

According to remarks during the meeting from hospital Operations and Facilities Vice President Kevin Ronayne, the expansion will be three stories on the southwestern corner of the site and will increase the number of surgical suites from seven to 10, while also making them larger.

Ronayne said the new suites are based on conversations with the staff that work in the suites and are larger because more space is needed for less invasive surgeries.

If needed, there is room for 12 operating rooms.

About 12 different layouts were considered, said Ronayne, who added that they initially looked at a $60 million project, but determined it wasn't affordable.

He noted that contrary to a city memo, the building is not designed with the capability to grow by two floors.

If the city council approves the amendment in July, it is possible that construction on the expansion could begin before the end of the year. If the foundation for the expansion isn't laid by the start of the coldest parts of winter, then the project could be delayed for six months.

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