LOCKPORT N.Y. (WIVB) – With Eastern Niagara Hospital closing next month — the time is ticking for Catholic Health to open its new hospital in Lockport. News 4 stopped by the site today for an exclusive update on how construction is going.
Construction crews have been busy plastering and painting the walls, installing electrical wires and fixing pipes all throughout the building, located off south Transit Road in Lockport.
Once construction is complete, the 60,000 square foot space will be transformed into a neighborhood hospital equipped with the latest medical and information technology
“They have really focused on trying to design this with the future in mind but also with the intent that we’ve got to open this really quick,” said C.J Urlaub, who’s the senior Vice President at Catholic Health. “ENH [Eastern Niagara Hospital] was under bankruptcy, was going to close eventually so we’ve been working hard to open this as fast as we can.”
After Eastern Niagara Hospital closes its doors, Lockport Memorial Hospital will be the only hospital in this area. Catholic Health officials say opening the LMH will ensure residents don’t lose access to quality care in their community.
“We recognized that with ENH going into bankruptcy that there was going to be 80,000 people in this region that were going to be without a hospital and emergency department,” Urlaub said. “Catholic Health recognized that need, recognized the health burdens in this community and stepped up. I’m really proud of the work we’re doing at Catholic Health and be part of this community.”
“It’s important that we have something here because of the great distances it will take to get to Erie County or from even the upper reaches of some of the other hospitals on the west side of the county,” Urlaub added.
ENH filed for bankruptcy in 2019 following years of financial struggles and will close on June 17th. Catholic Health officials say construction on the 62 million dollar hospital will be completed by the fall.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Every day, every week we have challenges with supply chain as you can imagine with COVID, but so far things look good,” Urlaub said.
Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.