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LITTLE VALLEY – What was once a place for children to walk for their first few years of school may become a place for people to learn to walk again after knee or hip surgery, even cardiac care. The newest part of the Olean medical region could help those who need rehabilitation, if the Pancio family is able to raise the remainder of the project’s $4 million price tag.

Steve Pancio, a member of the family that recently purchased the former Boardmanville elementary school property, presented the plan for the medical facility Wednesday to the members of the Cattaraugus County Legislature. Of the $4 million needed to fully transform the building into a 50- to 54-bed, rehabilitative care facility, the Pancio family has already acquired $2.5 million. The remainder has been requested out of the county’s share of casino revenue.

Plans for the facility call for second- and third-floor patient rooms for recovery and rehabilitation after joint or cardiac surgery, Pancio told the legislators. The facility, planned to be open for operation in late 2014 if the remaining funding is secured, would be labeled a sub-acute rehabilitation center.

A benefit to the center would be the ability to be a teaching facility, of sorts. As patients are receiving care, according to Pancio, students would aid in their care.

“The more eyes and hands on the patient, the better the recovery,” Pancio said.

The first floor of the building would house medical offices, he said. The auditorium would be divided to provide a rehabilitation pool on one side and a lecture hall on the other, Pancio continued.

The facility is expected to employ about 50 people.

“These jobs would be high-paying jobs,” Pancio said.

The building has recently undergone improvements to several areas, including the cafeteria, over the two years previous to its closure and sale.