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Lawrence Hospital breaks ground on new cancer center in Bronxville
Lawrence Hospital officials broke ground Tuesday on a $34 million cancer and surgery center that will bring state-of-the-art facilities -- and radiation therapy -- to the Bronxville campus.
Hospital staff, doctors and local officials braved Tuesday's rainy weather for the ground-breaking ceremony, planting shovels into the ground under a large tent as they posed for photographs and answered questions about the 40,000 square foot facility.
The pavilion will provide "a full circle of integrated cancer treatment" to the Bronxville hospital's patients, and hospital leaders are billing it as an alternative to New York City hospitals that will provide an equal level of care and expertise without adding another commute to time-crunched locals who have a family member or friend undergoing cancer treatment.
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That's possible, hospital officials said, because the new cancer center will be staffed by physicians from Columbia University and will feature 600-plus-foot operating rooms with the latest surgical equipment.
"Westchester County has an aging population, and it's difficult for working families to get their moms, their dads (and) relatives to the city for care," Tim Hughes, the hospital's vice president for business development, told News12. "More and more we see that it's appropriate to treat (patients) with cancer in their community."
While the ground-breaking was greeted with applause at Lawrence Hospital, some neighbors say the new center is too big for its neighborhood, where the current 291-bed campus blends in unobtrusively with the houses and condos that surround it. They've formed groups, such as the Committee to Save Bronxville's West Side, to petition the hospital to scale down its plans, but haven't been successful.
Their objections are aesthetic and practical, saying the new three-story building -- which will stop just a few feet short of the sidewalk -- will contribute to traffic problems and doesn't fit with the character of the largely residential neighborhood.
"We have never opposed a cancer center or the rehabilitation of their old operating rooms," Helen Levitz, a neighbor, told News12. "What we're saying is that they don't have to build a wing all the way out to the street to do this."