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HEALTH CARE

Auburn hospital looks to build $15 million cancer treatment center

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ACH cancer center

An architectural rendering of the proposed Auburn Community Hospital cancer treatment center at the corner of Lansing and North streets in Auburn.

Two years after opening a medical oncology and hematology center within its existing main building, Auburn Community Hospital is seeking a series of approvals to build a new 12,000-square-foot cancer treatment center.

The hospital is partnering with Rochester developer Park Grove Realty LLC and Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse on the project, which would be located at the corner of Lansing and North streets. The 1.14-acre lot, which would be sold to Park Grove and leased back by the hospital, is currently used as a parking lot.

The major expansion would allow the hospital to add radiation oncology services to its cancer treatment offerings, which it launched in early 2020 in partnership with Upstate cancer physicians.

For the project to move forward, it will need approvals from the state Department of Health for a certificate of need and the Auburn Planning Board for its site plan and a subdivision of the hospital's main campus property.

In addition, the developer plans to seek property and sales tax relief from the Auburn Industrial Development Authority. Hospital officials joined the developer to give the AIDA board an overview of the project on Feb. 16.

"This project is a high priority for the board and it's a great project for this community," Anthony D. Franceschelli, the hospital's board of trustees chair, told the AIDA board. "It will make it so much easier for community members get the services they need locally."

Jason Lesch, the hospital's acting CFO, said the hospital does not have the financial resources to build the cancer center on its own, which is why it partnered with Park Grove. The goal is to be able start construction in the spring. The total project is estimated around $15 million.

The Auburn Planning Board will review Park Grove's applications for site plan approval and a subdivision of the property during its meeting Tuesday, which is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers of Memorial City Hall, 24 South St. The public will be able to comment on the project at the meeting, and comments can also be submitted to the city in writing.

In its application filed Dec. 29 with the state Department of Health, the hospital said Upstate Medical University will provide clinical physicians, technologist and management oversight while the center will be operated by ACH. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the space will include seven exam rooms, a consultation room, CT scanner room, a linear accelerator treatment vault, controls rooms, patient treatment planning/dosimetry space, eight infusion rooms and staff office space.

Officials with Auburn Community Hospital and a Rochester developer presented at the Feb. 16 Auburn Industrial Development Authority meeting on a plan to build a new cancer treatment center where a parking lot currently is located on the main campus. The developer intends to seek tax breaks on the project from AIDA.

Jeremy Boyer can be reached at (315) 282-2231 or jeremy.boyer@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenBoyer

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