WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 was the only TV news team allowed inside a meeting at Waterbury City Hall that Mayor Neil O’Leary thinks could change healthcare in Waterbury.

“We’re really proud that the city has been selected for this site,” the mayor said.

O’Leary met with representatives from Post Acute Medical Health (PAM) from Pennsylvania. They’re partnering with Waterbury Hospital to build a 42-bed inpatient rehab hospital on Harpers Ferry Road near Reidville Drive.

“We would be offering a minimum of three hours of therapy a day,” Kristen Smith of PAM Health said. “We’ll provide services to patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury, other neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease. There’s not another rehab location within 30 miles of this location, which demonstrates a significantly underserved area for patients in need of this service.”

“This is really an opportunity for Waterbury to be able to provide care that we haven’t been able to ever in the past to this level,” O’Leary said.

The belief is the 55,000 square-foot facility would also improve the economic health of the city.

“Thirty-six million dollar investment, several hundred job opportunities, grand list growth,” O’Leary said. “It’s a great opportunity for the city, residents of the city, taxpayers of the city.”

PAM Health expects to file a certificate of need application with the state in about two weeks. Once the project gets the green light from the state, construction will begin. The hope is they’ll be ready to start seeing patients in early 2024.

The site would be easily accessible by I-84. Officials at PAM Health said that was a big factor in selecting Waterbury and that the hospital could benefit people in cities and towns throughout the Naugatuck Valley and beyond.