Today’s news:

NYHQ gets government’s OK for two more stories

New York Hospital Queens has cleared the final hurdle in the way of adding two additional floors to its new addition, already under construction.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development formally approved the hospital's plan to expand upon its current addition plans, which will add two floors, giving the medical center some much-needed flexibility with its existing services.

The additional floors, which will cost about $10 million, will be added to New York Hospital Queens' new five-story west wing, already under construction. Work on the extra floors will be done alongside the existing plans and is expected to be completed in 2010.

NYHQ Vice President Camela Morrissey said the hospital overestimated its initial cost expectations for the expansion and will put the surplus funding toward the construction of the additional floors. The additional floors will not add any new beds, but will create "swing space," which will allow the hospital to move beds from other areas that need to be renovated.

"If this goes forward, the two additional floors will be built exactly in the construction with the five floors already underway," Morrissey said.

When completed, the entire project will provide approximately 80 new beds and allow the hospital to restructure some of its existing departments to more efficiently serve the public, according to Morrisey.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 138.

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