Advisory board settles on CNCC site

College property is unanimous choice for new hospital

An aging sign west of Moffat County Road 7 that has long anticipated the future home of Colorado Northwestern Community College will be the future site of The Memorial Hospital if Thursday night's recommendation by an advisory board is approved.

All 15 members of a board charged with picking a new site for TMH voted for the CNCC site at an abbreviated meeting that was scheduled to decide the matter. The potential for shared hospital and college facilities dominated the unanimous vote.

"I don't think there's a question in my mind that CNCC is the best possible site," advisory board member Tom Flavin said. "As we're trying to identify the best possible location, CNCC has the opportunity to open up the entire 100-acre site for future economic activity."

Although advisory board members had to offer their first pick of three sites, more than a few advisory members noted that public opinion for the CNCC site largely outweighed the Wilson and Kloos sites.

According to purchase and development cost estimates released Thursday night, the Wilson property would cost $1.9 million, the Kloos property more than $3.5 million; and the CNCC property almost $3 million.

The costs don't include construction for a partial replacement hospital.

TMH board members have the final say on where a new hospital will be built. CNCC has offered to give the hospital 15 acres on its 100-acre site west of Moffat County Road 7.

The Wilson property includes 13.5 acres west of Craig off U.S. Highway 40 near the Columbine Apartments and the Kloos property is a 15- to 20-acre spread off U.S. 40 west of Cook Chevrolet.

Though facilitator Tim Sarmo from the Department of Local Affairs had planned a rigorous analysis paradigm for the meeting, advisory committee members made it almost instantly clear that CNCC was the favored site.

"There's no real issues to discuss as if it were an 8 to 7 vote," TMH board member Sue Lyster said. "It's pretty clear-cut what the community wants and the board will plan to go forward."

TMH board members have planned to publicize the site selection at a 7 p.m. Wednesday board meeting.

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