Sep. 4—The skies delivered rain on Tuesday as Catholic Health officials and business sponsors signed the last beam of the future Lockport Memorial Hospital before it was put into place.
Mark Sullivan, president and CEO at Catholic Health-Buffalo, led his speech by saying that just like this event pulled through, so-would Catholic Health and so would the construction of the hospital.
"Patients don't wait for good weather," Sullivan said. "We are here for them no matter what."
The site for the hospital was secured in February of 2021, a piece of Bob Hall's land, the Hall's Apple Farm, and plans for the hospital were approved by July of 2021 by the Town Board of Lockport and New York state. Construction began as of late November.
At the beam-signing event, Monsignor Robert E. Zapfel prayed that the building would be a place for people to heal, as well as that blessings come upon the workers of the hospital who care for the sick.
"This place is going to affect 80,000 residents of Eastern Niagara County," Sullivan said to the US&J before the event, stressing that while the hospital will have state-of-the-art care for emergency services, a wing of the building will be designated with primary care doctors, people who will help prevent health problems before they start.
"There will be lab and imaging in that wing," he said. "The goal is to meet the needs of the community."
Sullivan also said that there have been some slow downs including the "geo-political" situation, supply chain issues but that the Catholic Health team has done a "remarkable job". He was particularly happy that the site includes a helipad for quick transport of stroke victims to Mount St. Mary's Hospital on the other side of the county.
Sullivan also noted that many people did not believe that there would be any construction at all.
"Many said it wouldn't happen," he said in front of press, sponsors and Catholic Health officials. "This job is going forward."
Janet Faulhaber, system director of Facility Planning, Design and Construction at Catholic Health, said that the next steps were to enclose the space with exterior walls, which will start in the coming weeks.
By late fall the exterior to the building will be completed with the date for the hospital's opening is set for the summer of 2023.