TMH, CNCC talk about sites

Construction of new hospital discussed

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In a first-time meeting between college and hospital board members Wednesday night, the groups discussed options for construction of a new hospital on college property.

Officials from Craig's Colorado Northwestern Community College have informally donated a portion of the college's 100-acre site west of Shadow Mountain Village across Moffat County Road 7 for construction of a new replacement for The Memorial Hospital. CNCC also has open-ended plans to add to the college at the site.

Hospital board members are considering two other sites: the Kloos property west of Cook Chevrolet on U.S. Highway 40 and the Wilson site, which also is off the highway but closer to Columbine Apartments.

TMH board members will decide a site for the new hospital, but they are seeking community input on the decision.

CNCC board members offered the hospital board the southwest portion of the college site, which may be less expensive for utilities because of development nearby.

Originally, TMH board members jockeyed the idea of developing the hospital at the northern tip of the college property.

But, its proximity to the U.S. 40 and connection to Ninth Street would be more accessible if the hospital were at the site's southern end, the groups agreed.

Officials also talked about the potential of sharing costs of parking lots and a cafeteria between the two entities. Housing and a recreation center that are tentatively slated for the area, could help round out amenities for the public, some said.

Having the college near a hospital could offer added learning opportunities, CNCC Vice President Dean Hollenbeck said.

"We want to be in close proximity to health care," he said. "It'd work for us. The synergy for this is good. I'm not trying to do a hard sell."

Hospital officials agreed to talk about cost comparisons of the site with the two other sites at upcoming Craig City Council meetings, as a way to gather public feedback.

Cost estimates to construct a hospital on the site are unclear.

Surveys for a hospital on the site were conducted under the assumption that it would be constructed at the site's northern end.

TMH board member Ron Danner said that the donation of land from the college is only one component in deciding the best place for a new hospital. Others include infrastructure costs and logistics.

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