Plenty of work remains before The Memorial Hospital can achieve its goal of building a new health care facility in Craig, said Ron Danner, chairman of the hospital's building committee.
But after Wednesday night's board of trustees meeting, hospital officials are one step closer.
The board unanimously approved, 6-0, an agreement with Colorado Northwest Community College regarding the development of 15 acres of property at the college's Craig campus.
The college property is the prospective site for the new hospital.
"This agreement with the college is essential so we both know what our roles are going to be," Danner said.
The governing boards of the hospital and the college agree that "construction of a future hospital building on the college site furthers the statutory mission of each entity and is in the best interests of their respective constituencies," according to the approved memo of understanding.
College and hospital officials are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. today at CNCC to sign the agreement. The public is invited to attend.
"This probably isn't a ground-breaking ceremony," Danner said. "It's probably a little premature to do that."
Hospital officials are still developing plans for the new facility.
If construction of the hospital building or infrastructure, such as streets and utilities, has not started within five years of the approved agreement, the deal would be nullified, according to the understanding.
In the memo, CNCC agrees to contribute $750,000 to the construction of infrastructure at the site. The agreement also stipulates that uses at the college site will be limited to health care, education and recreation.
Hospital board chairman Don Myers said the agreement is a positive stride toward providing the community with an improved health care facility.
"It's a real positive step here," Myers said.