Premier Health officials and city leaders hosted two public meetings Thursday to collect ideas for the future of the Good Samaritan Hospital site.
This comes as Premier officials announce Good Sam is set to shut down by the end of August.
“They need to put something in there,” said Alma Morris, who lives near the hospital. “But they could even have [multiple] things in it. It doesn’t have to be just one thing.”
Malik Hill, who also lives in the area, suggests the site have several uses, including a homeless shelter and a facility for vocational classes.
“West Dayton needs to be uplifted,” Hill said. “It needs to have more jobs, more resources.”
Planning firm planning NEXT is working with CityWide Development to help create a vision for the future of the hospital site.
“They’re being asked to think about both outcomes and strategies for the future of the site as well as strategic investment in the neighborhood,” explained Jamie Greene, planning NEXT principal, of the public meetings.
According to Greene, planning NEXT has met with more than 50 neighborhood groups.
The hospital’s closure being announced for August does not accelerate the planning process, Greene said.
Greene said his firm plans to announce some possibilities for the site in June, followed by a final set of recommendations in September.
“It’s complex,” Greene said. “And there’s a whole range of perspectives. There are different dimensions of what’s going on here in terms of economic development, housing quality, job opportunity.”
Meanwhile, neighbors we spoke with said they hope the hospital doesn’t sit vacant for long without a plan.
“I think with the people speaking out and the people that we have behind us, I think we can actually make a change,” Hill said.
Our 2 NEWS crew spotted a small group of protesters – roughly fewer than ten people – holding up signs outside the building where Thursday night’s meeting was held.