Brooks-TLC Hospital System won't build its $67 million hospital in the town of Pomfret after all.
Instead, the hospital system has shifted its plans to a site in Fredonia.
Hospital system officials said "planning issues and zoning challenges" with the 26-acre Pomfret site led them to look elsewhere.
"As we moved through 2018, it became apparent that the Town of Pomfret site was not going to come to fruition in a timely manner," said Chris Lanski, chair of the Brooks-TLC Hospital System's board of directors.
Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced in October 2017 that it would build a 29-bed hospital in Pomfret to replace its aging 65-bed Dunkirk facility. The initial timeline for the new hospital projected it to open in late 2019 or early 2020.
Hospital system officials said they have filed paperwork with the Village of Fredonia and hope to start construction this year. They said the 30-acre Fredonia site was one of the final sites it had considered, out of 24, before the Pomfret location was selected.
Hospital officials hope to start construction in the spring, depending on weather. The project is expected to take at least 18 months, which would push its completion into late 2020.
A total of $74 million in funding for the project comes from the state Department of Health, with a $57 million Essential Health Care Provider Support Program grant and a $17 million Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program grant. Of that total, $4 million will go toward information technology upgrades in the health system and $3 million will go toward renovating the TLC campus in Irving.
The hospital system said a community advisory committee will be created to help guide redevelopment of the current Brooks Memorial Hospital campus.
When the Brooks-TLC Hospital System disclosed plans for the Pomfret location in 2017, officials said the planned new hospital would be smaller than the current facility in Dunkirk. The Dunkirk facility consists of buildings from as far back as the 1920s to as recent as the 1980s.
The new Fredonia site is just west of Route 60 and across East Main Street from Fredonia High School.