WEST BRIGHTON — The city allocated another $12.5 million for the construction of a new emergency room with a larger capacity at Richmond University Medical Center, officials said.
The funding includes $7 million from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and $4 million from Borough President James Oddo to build the new emergency room's combined heat and power plant. Councilwoman Debi Rose also allocated $1 million for the 355 Bard Ave. hospital along with $500,000 from Councilman Steven Matteo.
"Without the safety net of steady public funding, our borough’s two-hospital system is incredibly vulnerable and faces tremendous challenges remaining solvent," Matteo said in a statement.
"RUMC’s outdated emergency department is dangerously over capacity and in dire need of an upgrade. But the hospital cannot build a new facility without financial assistance."
The hospital's current emergency room is more than 40 years old and was designed to accommodate 25,000 annual visits, but the RUMC currently sees more than 65,000 patients a year, Matteo said.
The $60 million new, two-story emergency room would increase its room's size, add private treatment rooms, new equipment, designated triage and trauma rooms and more, according to the hospital.
It will be built onto the existing emergency room, which will be retrofitted for a different use.
The city already pitched in $13.5 million for the emergency room in last year's budget and the hospital broke ground on it in September.
Work began on the project in April with the demolition of the Villa Annex Building and crews are currently prepping for the demolition of the Fitzpatrick Building, a spokesman for the hospital said.
Construction is expected to finish in fall 2019.