Construction crews have been working at the Wilson Medical Center campus in Johnson City to prepare for a major demolition project.

A large section of the Picciano Building across from the main hospital complex is expected to be torn down in the coming weeks. It's the first step in an anticipated hospital modernization initiative.

The west side of the Picciano Building across the street from Wilson Medical Center. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The building was suddenly shut down nearly three years ago because of structural concerns. It's located just south of a parking garage that collapsed in July 2015.

When the building was ordered closed in May 2016, UHS said it would be empty for about a year for major renovation work.

Workers have been shoring up interior portions of the Picciano Building before the demolition job gets underway.

Crews have been working inside and outside the closed Picciano Building in recent weeks. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Johnson City Mayor Gregory Deemie said he didn't know when the work is scheduled to start. He said the demolition will have an impact on traffic near the hospital. He expects road closures will be needed "for a certain length of time as they take down the building and clean up the area."

United Health Services president and CEO John Carrigg has met with village officials to discuss future plans for the Wilson campus.

A dump truck on the Arch Street side of the Picciano Building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Carrigg has outlined ambitious modernization initiatives, including a desire to replace old multiple-patient rooms with private rooms.

According to meeting minutes, Carrigg also described a plan to relocate the hospital's emergency department with a "huge drive-up" entrance that would provide access from Main Street.

Workers outside the Picciano Building on February 26, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Carrigg indicated UHS was prepared to spend $50 million on the project. He said the corporation was seeking $30 million in state funding.

The Wilson campus is located just northwest of the recently-opened Binghamton University Pharmacy School building.

A UHS spokesman on Wednesday was unable to provide information about the work being planned in Johnson City.

FLASHBACK: The Picciano Buidling prior to its abrupt closure in May 2016. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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