Hospital officials gather site data for new facility

Gathering information about potential costs is the next step in the search for a new hospital site, according to Ron Danner, building committee chair for The Memorial Hospital.

He discussed telephone conversations made with organizations and people involved in coming up with those costs and estimates at a hospital board meeting Wednesday.

First, the amount of space needed for the hospital and cost evaluations are being done on four sites that do not include the hospital's current location. In addition, an analysis on the current site is being done, said Danner.

The plan is to get all cost estimates in place for the meeting in July so that board members can begin discussing a potential site.

"We are trying to assemble all aspects for the meeting," Danner said.

Sites being considered are:

  • The current hospital location,
  • The Kloos property, which is in west Craig,
  • The Kawcak property, which is across from the safety center,
  • The Wilson property, which also is in west Craig and
  • The CNCC property

"They have been doing research (on a new hospital site) now for six years, more actively in the last two and a half years," said Pam Thompson, community relations director for The Memorial Hospital.

The budget has been a major issue, according to Thompson, who said that many challenges keep coming up.

"We need to have all aspects available for inspection because the decision to build on the right spot is not only important for now but also for future growth," Thompson said.

The board will try to decide on a location based on this information at its meeting next month.

"We have an obligation to share this (the decision on the future site) with the public," said Randy Phelps, The Memorial Hospital administrator.

Thompson also discussed a fund-raising campaign for a new facility that will be taken on by the hospital foundation.

"It all comes back to you," is the slogan for the fund-raiser, Thompson said.

Thompson said she is trying to form a committee complete with a campaign chair, division leaders and campaigners for the purpose of collecting funds from citizens of Craig.

"(Campaign members) are very important," Thompson said. "We have around $300,000 and we need about $2 million for the hospital."

The campaign chairman would be responsible for providing motivation and being the spokesperson for the kick-off celebration, which will launch the fund-raiser. The division heads will each have three campaigners below them and the campaigners in Thompson's plan will get local pledges, be ambassadors for the hospital and every position would attend a fund-raising

training session.

Thompson hopes to collect around $1 million from donations.

"It takes a good year, we would always look to do it in less time, but it usually takes around a year to raise this much money," Thompson said.

Volunteers would fill all of the positions.

"I know there are some strong community members out there that are interested and this would be a way to tie them in," Thompson said. "It is important for the community to see we have people on board."

Thompson also plans monthly meetings to report on how many pledges are collected, to keep on track and to build camaraderie between the people who are volunteering for the fundraising.

"We are hoping to have the structure completely set up by July 21, the next board meeting," Thompson said. "It is hard to raise money without a site picked out."

Thompson said a final tally of funds raised at a recent golf tournament had not been calculated.

"We had 27 teams including a four-team group from Denver and that is more than we have ever had," she said.

Thompson said that sponsorships for the event where down this year but the amount of teams are increasing every year.

"I think to make the community strong and viable we need to have a new hospital," Thompson said.

Liz King is an intern with the Craig Daily Press. She can be reached at 824-7031 or lking@craigdailypress.com

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