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Vote Delayed On Children's Hospital Expansion Plan

Rendering of proposed Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center expansion project in Avondale.

Officials with Children's Hospital must wait another day to find out if Cincinnati City Council will approve several ordinances needed for a major expansion project.  

The Neighborhoods Committee was supposed to vote on the items Tuesday, but there weren't enough council members present to make decisions.  
Children's President and CEO Michael Fisher spoke to the committee about the project.

"Ultimately this was a medical decision," Fisher said. "I appreciate the concerns expressed by some of our neighbors and fellow citizens, especially in Avondale, about the magnitude of this project and associated issues like congestion, parking, dust, etc. We will work hard to minimize these issues."

The Children's plan includes an eight-story tower, renovation of some existing space, a parking garage underneath the new tower, and expansion of another nearby parking garage. The expansion will net about 120 news beds to the existing campus.

Hospital officials have said the project is needed because of a significant increase in patients and services.

The project will be done in phases and take five years to complete.

The Avondale Community Council opposes the project. President Patricia Milton wants council to vote no on the ordinances.

"The greater good is not for this portion of our neighborhood to yield to building this development so children from other states and countries arrive in our neighborhood to be healed," Milton said. "Is this a reason to destroy more of Avondale to build for the sickest children? We want Children's Hospital to build their hospital expansion somewhere on their current campus or somewhere else in the community."

Vice Mayor David Mann says he hopes the two sides can come together.

"Avondale and Children's can find a basis for partnership going forward that will improve relations and result in even greater benefit to the community and to Avondale," Mann said.

The Neighborhoods Committee is scheduled to meet again Wednesday afternoon. If the Children's ordinances are approved, the issues will be immediately forwarded to the full council for approval.