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PBMC weighing options for future of Mercy building

What does Peconic Bay Medical Center plan to do with the former Mercy High School building and property?  

“As far as the Mercy campus, we’re still developing that plan,” said Amy Loeb, the executive director at Peconic Bay Medical Center in an interview Thursday. “We are going to continue to evaluate the needs of the community and the needs of our workforce and so on. But it’s still very much to be determined.” 

As for the former Mercy High School building, she said, “it’s not usable for anything clinical. The regulations around doing anything clinically — especially hospital grade — are very heavily regulated, and appropriately so. When you think about when this building was built, versus how construction is done today, it’s very different. It would have to meet today’s standards and that’s not possible.”

There was a malfunction of the boiler system in the building about a year ago, she said.

Jefferson Murphree, Riverhead’s building and planning administrator, mentioned last week that the town has spoken with the hospital.

“One of the things they are looking at putting there is housing for their employees,” he said.

He added that he would support that idea.

“They are one of our larger employee generators and they need the housing to keep their staff there,” he said.

The Mercy building first opened in 1962. The Diocese of Rockville Centre established a partnership with the Sisters of Mercy in 2002 and changed the school name to Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School.

The Diocese closed the school in June 2018 and the Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation acquired the 24-acre former school property in 2020.

“We’ve recently used what was the junior high school for monoclonal antibody infusion, but that’s the extent of what we’ve used the property for clinically,” Ms. Loeb said. 

The hospital currently uses the former Mercy property for parking. Starting in late December, as COVID-19 cases were surging due to the omicron variant, PBMC teamed up with Northwell Health to use the Mercy campus for drive-thru testing. The drive-thru site has since closed.