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Buffalo Planning Board OKs new Mercy Hospital operating room

Mercy Hospital of Buffalo will get its new operating room.

The city Planning Board on Monday night approved Catholic Health System’s proposal to construct a 10,000-square-foot addition to the back of the South Buffalo hospital to house a larger cardiac operating room. The construction is part of a larger $14.8 million project to modernize the hospital’s cardiac surgery capabilities, which also includes renovation of 11,589 square feet of existing space.

The project at 565 Abbott Road will create a third, state-of-the-art operating room with 1,100 square feet of space – twice the size of existing 50-year-old operating rooms – while abandoning a smaller one that will become storage. A loading dock will also be moved.

Approval had been delayed two weeks while hospital officials met with neighbors, the principal of a public school across the street, and South District Common Councilmember Christopher Scanlon to review the project and overcome concerns.

“It was informative,” said Janet K. Faulhaber, system director for facility planning, design and construction. “We walked them through the project, answered questions, and received compliments for the work we are doing on the back side of the hospital to make it less industrial.”

Some neighbors were worried about additional noise, after a 2012 expansion resulted in the installation of two loud air-conditioning cooling towers. “The noise around the hospital is really extreme,” said Albert Van Treska, a Lorraine Street resident, who was also worried about the impact of delivery trucks and traffic on the nearby school.

But hospital officials said the current project would not include any more mechanical units or generate more noise, and said they already talked with school leadership about safety issues.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com

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