UTICA, N.Y. -- The Mohawk Valley Health System hosted a few informational forums to update the community on Thursday.

The same day, the system announced that a law firm is starting the process to acquire properties in the footprint of the new hospital.

The hospital's construction has been a controversial topic, because some don't want it in the downtown area. Officials said progress continues on its design.

"We're fortunate that the interior of the building design has been decided upon, so from a clinical-taking-care-of-patients perspective, we've made significant progress. We hope to finalize that over the course of the next number of months," said MVHS Executive Vice President/COO Robert Scholefield.

Hospital officials hope to begin construction in 2019.