CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – Mercy Health announced Monday plans to build a new health campus, and possibly a new hospital, in Champion.
The 63 acres the hospital system bought from Kent State is located between the Kent Trumbull campus and the Trumbull Career and Technical Center. It’s now farmland that’s zoned residential. That is one big thing that needs to be changed before Mercy Health can build.
The new construction could be the new home for St. Joseph Hospital, which is now on Eastland Ave. SE in Warren.
Ask Champion Trustee Brain Bugos if landing the relocated St. Joseph Hospital will really put the township on the map, and he’ll answer it was already there.
“But if we can add another star to Champion Township and where we already are, we’re ready to take action on those challenges,” Bugos said.
Bugos and fellow trustee Doug Emerine said the land needs to be zoned commercial. They aren’t worried about that or other upgrades that might have to happen.
“There is going to have to be some zoning changes to accommodate Mercy Health, for sure,” Emerine said. “I don’t think they’re anything we can’t overcome.”
There is also the issue of police and fire service. There is room for growth there.
“We would have to grow that. These departments, fire, police things like that, our services to accommodate a project of that scale. Of course, we are prepared to do that,” Emerine said.
The land already has access to water and sewer, so that shouldn’t be an issue. The road leading to the hospital may need to be redone and they say that shouldn’t be a problem either, but Mercy Health is a non-profit, which means it pays no property tax. Champion Township will not benefit from extra money. There is, however, land nearby that’s available for spinoff businesses.
“We hope to get some development there and get some property tax off those,” Emerine said.
Bugos agrees that the project has regional importance just like Kent State and the Trumbull County Career and Technical School, which sit on Research Parkway.
“We are ready to take the next step and look at how we can better serve the Trumbull County community,” Bugos said.
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