Demolition of old hospital, building new facilities under consideration by Moffat County hospital board | CraigDailyPress.com

Demolition of old hospital, building new facilities under consideration by Moffat County hospital board

Memorial Regional Health has big plans for new buildings and the demolition of the historic Memorial Hospital. This rendering depicts one of the many options that the hospital board of trustees will consider as they adopt a new master site plan on March 16.

— As the hospital board looks to the future, it must address the crumbling clinic building that’s draining the bank.

To address the issue, a new master site plan for The Memorial Hospital medical services is being considered, which could include building new facilities at no cost to taxpayers.

"We are not going to go to the voters to do this project," said TMH CEO Andy Daniels.

The master site plan was unveiled Wednesday at Craig Daily Press’ Coffee and a Newspaper where Daniels was the guest speaker.

"The plan makes great sense to consolidate the medical office building next to the hospital for the convenience of the patients and the doctors," said Chris Nichols, candidate for Craig City Council and owner of McDonald’s restaurants in Craig and Steamboat Springs.

Projected costs range from $1 million to almost $30 million depending on the choices made by the Board of Trustees of The Memorial Hospital on March 16.

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Then the board will commission a financial feasibility study.

"A financial feasibility study will tell us our borrowing capacity — where our financials need to be to finance the project," Daniels said.

As part of the process, a comprehensive mechanical, electrical, plumbing evaluation was made of the Russell Street property currently home to TMH Medical Clinic, the VA Clinic and Northwest Colorado Health.

"The conclusion is that most of the building should be vacated and demolished," Daniels said.

The hospital recently had to spend $20,000 to fix heating and cooling and are constantly patching roof leaks.

"It's safe, but we have sections of the building that are closed and no longer inhabitable," Daniels said.

Before considering new construction options, Daniels also investigated the purchase of existing properties across Craig including the former Kmart building.

"There are certain rules that restrict development based on the type of hospital," Daniels said.

If some of those laws were to be changed it could impact revenues, therefore the majority of the construction should be done within 250 yards of the hospital.

The process to consolidate services has begun with the conversion of the administration hallway into a new OB/GYN clinic.

"The next step is to close the new loan," Daniels said.

The hospital board of control has been working for the past year to convert the existing USDA loan to a HUD loan. Lower interest rates will saving about $1.2 million per year as reported by the Craig Daily Press.

The federal government delayed the process, but closing instructions were received on Thursday, Daniels said.

"Now that we have closing instructions it should close in March," Daniels said.

The hospital board of trustees will decide the parts of the plan they would like to attempt during their monthly meeting on March 16 and public comments will be taken at the beginning of the meeting.

"The organization and our growth is part of insuring a viable economy. Businesses are not going to relocate to an area where medical services are minimal," said Jennifer Riley, vice president of hospital operations.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Master Site Plan Proposed Changes

The board will consider a mix and match of options to expand services.

The campus at The Memorial Hospital

A new medical office building to the south that could be built at an estimated cost of between $18 million to roughly $28 million depending on the number of stories built (two or three) and the level of completion — renderings show a three-story building where the third story is an undeveloped shell, ready for expansion. Expanded parking will also be considered.

Estimates have also been prepared to compare costs of other options:

• Expanding the patient wing (roughly $1.2 million)

• Medical clinic ($2.3 million)

• Further renovation of the obstetrics department (about $1 million)

• Walk-in clinic on campus ($1.1 million)

• Combined walk-in clinic and medical clinic (roughly $3.5 million)

TMH Physical Therapy on Yampa Avenue

When the current lease ends, the physical therapy would move to a new space.

TMH Medical Clinic (historic hospital) on Russell Street

TMH Medical Clinic on Russell Street would move to the new clinical space. Most of the old hospital would be demolished and replaced with green space at an estimated demolition cost of $800,000. The Veterans Tele-Health Clinic would likely move to another location that is yet to be determined. The building occupied by Northwest Colorado Health would remain and, as long as the building is leased, continue to bring in nominal rental revenues.

House and duplex to the south of Northwest Colorado Health

The properties would be retained and continue to provide housing for temporary staff.

Ambulance shed on Breeze Street

Memorial Regional Health will continue to house ambulances in the county building on Breeze Street.

Vacant property at Walmart

This site is being considered for a new, stand-alone 5,000-square-foot walk-in clinic or a 10,000-square-foot walk-in clinic with additional provider space.