By Alex Christodoulides
The Flushing hospital, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this week, will spend $200 million on its major modernization program. The plan includes building a new wing that will add 80 new medical and surgical beds to its current 439-bed capacity, aggregate cardiovascular services including operating rooms and catheterization labs; establishing a new ambulatory surgery center; and make infrastructure improvements after an estimated 42-month construction plan.The funding came from multiple sources, including fund-raising and a loan from HUD, the hospital said. While the hospital's own parking garage is razed to make way for new facilities, a new one will be built nearby to hold 372 cars on two underground and one at grade levels, a process the hospital expects to take about 18 months, NYHQ said.Addressing the hospital's importance to the community, NYHQ President and CEO Stephen Mills said “the community's needs are growing and we're doing what we need to do to serve the community. We all know that growth is necessary and we all understand disruption is part of growth.”Community Board 7 will be apprised of events or disruptions such as street closings by informational bulletins. The construction firm hired to complete the project will have a community liaison to handle complaints, and the hospital itself has a hot line (718-670-1713) to handle comments or concerns from the neighboring area.Officials, including former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, current Borough President Helen Marshall, City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) and state Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing), were on hand at the ground-breaking ceremony in front of the hospital's Lang Center for Research and Education at the corner of Booth Memorial Avenue and Main Street.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.