SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) –  After more than an hour of debate of residents expressing concerns over a new cancer center expansion at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center city councilors voted 8-1, passing the amended expansion.

Officials with the medical center say the 80,880-square-foot expansion of the hospital’s south-central corridor is a necessity amid growing patient needs. “The goal is for our community members to get treatment at home where they don’t have to travel for specialty treatment. They have access to Mayo Clinic expertise and second opinions at home.”

While neighbors agree the facility is needed, some say they just don’t agree with the location. Some residents are all for the expanded medical care and revenue the new cancer center could bring to the city. “I believe that we should do everything in our power as citizens of Santa Fe, as the business people in Santa Fe, to make this successful for regional medical care in our community.”

However, some neighbors raised concerns about the noise and traffic the expansion could bring. “We already see plenty of it because of how the parking lots are stuck because there’s no egress out. I watch hospital employees and patients wait and they are stacked.”

“If we have more and more traffic on Lupita, it endangers the residents that live on Lupita and the people that use Lupita.”

Others with relatives receiving cancer treatment say they sympathized with the neighbors, but ask to take patients into consideration as well. “This whole process has created an enormous stress on cancer patients and I certainly hope that the cancer patients are taken into account in this whole process.”

Officials say construction for the cancer center is expected to cost around $80 million. There is no set date on when construction could begin but a spokesperson for Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center says the facility should be up and running in 2024.