It started with an estimate on new carpet to liven up The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic at 785 Russell St.
Then, it appeared as if some of the rooms could use new tiling, sinks and countertops.
Eventually, turning The Memorial Hospital’s old campus into the home of two medical clinics became a full-blown project that was put before the TMH board at its meeting Wednesday night.
The $50,000 in renovations — including new copy machines, windows, doors and flooring — was approved, 5-0.
Board member Don Myers said the building is mostly in “good shape,” but there were several small changes that could benefit the clinic.
“We had someone come over to do an estimate on the carpets, and we looked and there was more things,” Myers said. “We thought we’d take a look at everything there and have a full project price. It would give us some flexibility to keep the bids more confidential.”
For about 60 years, TMH occupied the north end of the building at 785 Russell St. In recent years, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association rented out the south side of the building.
When the hospital moved into its new facility west of Craig, it decided to consolidate its medical clinics into the old building.
The Valley Health Center, featuring OB/GYN doctors and other specialists, previously was located in the basement of the Russell Street building.
The Health Center now has expanded to use some of the old space upstairs.
The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic, including Dr. Andrew Hughes and two physician’s assistants, relocated from its old building on Yampa Avenue to the old hospital campus.
With a new MRI machine located in the new hospital, TMH could terminate the lease on the TMH Medical Clinic building on Yampa, saving funds and unneeded space.
Ideally, hospital officials said, a new medical office building will be erected on the new campus, allowing clinicians and specialists to work near the new hospital.
However, with a tight budget year and looming loan payments on the new building, that vision could be several years off.
“It’s common knowledge that an MOB would be great and we’d love to be right here,” said Samantha Johnston, TMH chief of organization excellence.
The board and administrators ultimately agreed that even if the old hospital campus is a temporary clinic space, it needed to be renovated.
“If we’re going to use that thing, we have to take care of it,” Myers said. “Keeping that hospital well-maintained in the past really paid off. A lot of areas are very nice. If we take the time and do it right, the value will stay up there.”
The $50,000 project was not budgeted for in the 2010 budget, and chief financial officer Bryan Chalmers said funds will be taken from other budget items to pay for it.
“We have the need, we have numbers,” Chalmers said. “But we wanted to get approval to say we can spend up to this amount, so people don’t see later a project costing $200,000 or something.”
Myers said the investment was relatively small and an important one that will help give local doctors the best possible clinic in the Russell Street building
“There’s plenty of room there,” Myers said. “That hospital has had just about every function in every room at some point. Since the move, we’ve had staff working evening and nights, working on their own time to renovate it. It’s taken a lot of help from staff to make this happen. Now, it’s just a lot of just cleaning, painting and cosmetic things.”