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ORDA to decide hospital site plan

The town of North Elba now owns the former Adirondack Medical Center building on Church Street in Lake Placid. (Enterprise photo — Peter Crowley)

LAKE PLACID — The state Olympic Regional Development Authority’s board of directors is expected to vote on a proposal next week to demolish the old Placid Memorial Hospital, construct a new office building and modernize athlete housing at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.

On Friday, ORDA released the agenda for its board of directors’ next meeting on April 23, including a resolution titled “Resolution Committing Capital and Granting Approval for the President & CEO to Enter Into Agreements for the Coordinated Project Including the Placid Memorial Hospital Demolition, ORDA Administration Building, and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center Dormitory Mitigation and Modernization.”

An ORDA spokesperson declined to share details on the proposal on Friday and declined to share the full resolution the board will be voting on next week until 72 hours prior to the meeting. The town of North Elba owns the old hospital property, but town Supervisor Jay Rand also declined to answer questions, saying he would defer to ORDA.

ORDA CEO Michael Pratt alluded to the authority’s plans in an interview with the Enterprise in early 2019. At that time, he said that as the authority renovates the Olympic Center downtown, where ORDA’s offices are currently located, the goal would be to “evict ourselves.”

“I want these offices here all the way down to the ’80 Rink to be food and beverage and retail. We want the customers to come in and be able to use these windows with the beautiful views,” he said.

Pratt said the finance department currently takes up space in one of the hockey arena’s locker rooms, and there have been times when teams were sent back to their hotels because ORDA didn’t have enough locker rooms to spare.

It wasn’t clear at that time where the offices would go, but ORDA had been speaking with North Elba town officials about an expansion to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center at the old hospital property.

Later that year, when the town took over ownership of the old hospital property on Church Street, then-town Supervisor Roby Politi said ORDA was interested in possibly using the property for office space and additional housing for athletes next door at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, which is owned by ORDA but operated by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

In 2018, then-ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin wrote in an email that the town had offered ORDA the 8-acre hospital property.

It’s unclear if ORDA is proposing to purchase the old hospital property from the town or lease it from the town. Because the full resolution isn’t publicly available yet, it’s unclear at this time how much money the board is voting on committing to this project. Specific details about ORDA’s plans for the hospital property and for the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center have not yet been shared publicly.

Those interested in attending the ORDA Board of Directors meeting this coming Friday can watch the meeting virtually at 1 p.m. by visiting https://youtu.be/A353zVWxKcc.

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