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Highland Hospital development plans

Rochester, N.Y. - Highland Hospital has given 13WHAM its future plans for the 125-year-old hospital.

Barbara Ficarra, Highland Hospital Director of PR, said, "Six new operating rooms sized larger, and a 25 bed observation unit. That would meet our most vital facility needs."

It's still in the early stages, but the plan is to build an addition on the south side of campus.

"We need operating rooms that are larger than most of the operating rooms we have," said Ficarra. "We also want to increase the amount of private rooms provided at Highland."

There was considerable opposition from the community after the hospital bought a residential home for office space on Bellevue Avenue.

At the time, the hospital was considering an even bigger development plan. On top of the new addition, they were interested in tearing down the south wing and replacing it with a new inpatient unit.

That would've required the hospital to move into the neighborhood, but it is no longer an option and the hospital said they'll remain on their existing footprint.

"The plan that we have in place now would really meet our facility needs for the next 20 years," said Ficarra.

Kerry Regan helped collect the 1,800 signatures against the hospital's move into the neighborhood. He said, "There was a strong feeling in the neighborhood that we didn't want the hospital to go off its campus and we are very pleased that their plan now is to not do that."

He hopes his "neighbors" will keep their word. "Their plan to sell 27 Bellevue Drive would be the proof that they're pulling back on that plan."

Highland Hospital announced earlier this week they no longer need the property on Bellevue Drive and will be putting it on the market.

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Washington Times