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Work begins on Healthy Living campus in downtown Batavia

By Joanne Beck


If Healthy Living officials were happy about a groundbreaking ceremony, imagine how they feel to finally see Phase I of the project begin.

Take a walk just east of the YMCA building, and you will see the tear-down of Cary Hall, which once housed Healthy Living programs. Rochester Regional Health and GLOW YMCA officials have worked for years on a plan for the new facility, and look forward to the ensuing progress.

“We've got the demo of Cary Hall coming down now. And it’s moving along nicely, and we expect that to last probably another week, week and a half, till we get everything down,” United Memorial Medical Center CEO Dan Ireland said Tuesday. “And then the next phase will be — that's really the enabling phase — getting that done, and getting the parking lot graded out, and then starting to really get to work on the foundations for the new building.”

Last month, Ireland, GLOW YMCA CEO Rob Walker, and about 100 others gathered at 213 East Main St., Batavia, at the site of a future 78,000-square-foot facility. Defined as an integrated medical and wellness facility, it's to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a new pool, indoor track, teaching kitchen, a children’s adventure room play area, plus 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. The site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, and there will also be a drop-in childcare center.

Despite supply chain issues for other projects — roofing material, steel and concrete — this project is on track for a scheduled late 2023 completion date, Ireland said. Knowing how construction projects can go at times, he said the timetable could change at some point, but materials have been available so far.

“This is different than all of the other construction projects I’ve been involved in; it’s a funny mix of, you just don’t know what’s going to get delayed,” he said.

That second phase -- building the infrastructure for the new site -- will likely begin in September, Ireland said.

“Right now, we're just waiting on some paperwork. With that next phase, you'll start seeing foundations getting framed out,” he said. “So the demo contractors are on there now, and the contractor that's going to actually do the construction will transition onto the site. We're still looking at late 2023 completion at this stage of the game. And again, I always use caution on all my projects these days … not everything's been ordered yet. So, obviously, just getting started on the build phase, we will have to be working on that, firming up that timeline, and making sure we don't have any delays with supplies or other parts. I guess roofing material is one of the big things that all my projects are looking at challenges.”

Ireland is also overseeing construction for the Batavia medical campus on Route 98. Sessler Environmental Services of Rochester, the contractor for Ellicott Station, is doing the demo work, and RP Oak Hill Building Company will be doing the construction for the Healthy Living campus. The project has taken nearly seven years of hurdles to get to this point.

“I know Rob (Walker) and I are thrilled about this. And, in fact, I was off-site yesterday, and he sends me a picture of the demo getting underway. He's like, ‘it's finally here.’ So that's kind of where we're at,” Ireland said. “We tried to minimize any impact of traffic on the lot. Thankfully, most of that area's not highly traveled, and we'll be able to not impact people too much, as far as in and out of that campus, and then inside of the lot.”





Top and remaining photos show the beginning phase of demolition for Cary Hall, which formerly housed Healthy Living. Photos by Howard Owens.

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