Updated 01/10/2013 08:41 PM
New medical school coming to Orange County
It's a potentially great economic opportunity for the Hudson Valley with the announcement Touro Medical College will join the area. Our Eva McKend has more on what this means for the region.
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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Years in the making, local officials say Touro College's school of Osteopathic Medicine is the shot in the arm the city of Middletown needs. The medical college will take the place of the long-vacant Horton Hospital complex.
"The entire community really wanted us here and when you engage in a partnership, the most important thing is to have people you want to work with, people who have common goals and people who you like working with and that’s what we have in Middletown," said Touro College University President Dr. Alan Kadish.
Close to a thousand new jobs, 550 medical school students and $10 to $20 million in construction costs over the next year alone. It's been a passion project for the Middletown mayor and a top priority for the Danza Leser construction group.
"Coming on the heels of the regional economic council’s one million dollar grant and also the approval by the City of Middletown IDA, this project has now moved to the stage where we can make a public announcement that it’s a reality," said Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano.
“You are looking at a building that was occupied 88 years and was a nucleus in this community. You have to look at real estate and say in Europe, there are properties that have been occupied continuously for 400 years. In America, too often we take a building like this and tear it down. We had a 380,000 foot structure in the heart of a neighborhood that we had to find the right use for,” said Tony Danza of Danza Leser Group.
Plans for the facility also include student housing and assisted living units. Local officials emphasize the potential for economic revitalization spills far beyond the immediate area.
"When you have a medical college coming in, you have a thousand jobs, those people spend money somewhere, certainly in the local communities, gas, restaurants, you name it so that ripple effect will be well into the $50, $60, $100 million and ultimately maybe even more than that," said Orange County Executive Ed Diana.
The school also has the potential to provide something else people say the region desperately needs: More doctors in the Hudson Valley.