New hospital site reviewed

Board members, public trek to new TMH site

Gusty winds and spectacular views greeted at least a dozen people Tuesday as they visited the future site of The Memorial Hospital.

"Isn't this exciting?" asked Hospital Administrator Randy Phelps as he walked with a group of hospital board members and others.

A site for the new hospital -- commonly known as the Colorado Northwestern Community College property on the hill west of Moffat County Road 7 -- produced the most favorable reviews from the community and board members during a selection process.

Hospital officials have decided to build on a 15-acre portion on the west end of the college's 100-acre spread.

Design and scope of the facility is contingent largely upon the hospital's financial projections, which haven't been received, said Roger White, the hospital's chief financial officer.

Tuesday's visit was the first time the hospital's architect, Don Finlayson of Architectural Nexus of Salt Lake City, had set eyes on the property. Although Finlayson can't start planning the design until he receives solid financial numbers, he said the site would be good to work with.

Patient rooms will head south, looking toward Knez Divide. The hospital tentatively has planned for a 52,000- square-foot facility, unless the numbers show it needs to be downsized, board member Sue Lyster said.

Finlayson said architects might have to take into consideration high winds that are prone to blow through the elevated area. Also, landscaping may have to include plants that are not attractive to wildlife in the area. Herds of deer and antelope can be seen in the area.

A kickoff for the TMH capital campaign is July 8. The group has a goal of raising $1 million to build the hospital.

White said the hospital already has put away $1.7 million for a building fund. Officials also have applied for a matching grant from the Department of Local Affairs for $1 million. Officials should learn later this summer whether they will receive those funds.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com

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