DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton City Commission has approved a project to build a new wellness facility at the former Good Samaritan Hospital site.

The approval will allow for the creation of the 50,000 square foot Northwest Health and Wellness Campus on Philadelphia Drive in Dayton.

The facility will have a YMCA gym, track, pool and fitness center and a Premier Health Urgent Care. There will also be Wright State University educational space, job opportunities through Goodwill’s Miami Valley Works, CareSource Medicaid services, and housing through County Corp.

Commission approved the plan at its meeting the Wednesday and is contributing $400,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the $17.5 million project. One city commissioner abstained from voting Wednesday because the plan does not include a hospital.

“The aspect of making sure that to the best of our ability, the more people get information about how they can live a healthier lifestyle,” Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Jr. said. “Looking at job opportunities, looking at housing opportunities and looking at recreation, those are key components of quality of life opportunities for every city.”

The project will break ground by early October, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

“I’m hoping that it brings opportunities,” Dayton YMCA President and CEO Dale Brunner said. “I’m hoping that it brings a one stop shop that people can come in and get services that they may have to travel away from right now, away from the community.”

Even as the plans move forward, the group that’s been advocating for a new hospital on the old Good Sam site told 2 NEWS this facility will not address the health care needs of Northwest Dayton.

“You can’t give birth in an urgent care if you’re shot or if you’re in a car accident,” Clergy Community Coalition President Rev. Dr. M. Merritt Worthen said. “Yet another urgent care with limited hours and not the equipment will not save lives. It will lose lives, and that’s the thing that we are so upset about.”

The Clergy Community Coalition (CCC) has been fighting for a new hospital in Northwest Dayton since Good Samaritan Hospital closed in 2018.

“Why do black people get urgent cares, and you’re happy to give to white, affluent communities, hospitals, state of the art?” Merrit Worthen said.

Mims said this is a move in the right direction for the city as it addresses the needs of Dayton residents.

“We look more and more across the nation where the whole concept of health care is different,” Mims said. “How do you prevent people from getting sick? How do you create conditions for them to have more recreation opportunity? How do you find ways of creating opportunities for better housing?”

The CCC will continue to push city, county and state leaders to bring a hospital back to Northwest Dayton.

“It is never too late to right or wrong,” Merritt Worthen said.

In March 2022, a federal investigation found no evidence of a civil rights violation in Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure.