First step to build new medical clinic in Craig approved by hospital board Thursday | CraigDailyPress.com

First step to build new medical clinic in Craig approved by hospital board Thursday

The Memorial Hospital board of trustees adopted a new master site plan and approved expenditures to retain an architect to draft detail plans for a new medical clinic Thursday. The architectural plans will be used for the next phase of the process

— Patients in Craig may be able to receive care in one full swoop if the hospital board adopts a new master site plan to build a medical clinic next to The Memorial Hospital.

The plan includes the development of a three-story building next to the current hospital and the demolition of most of TMH’s former site on Russell Street, which currently houses TMH Medical Clinic.

Money to build the facility would come from savings when the hospital loan is converted to one with lower interest and additional financing, said Memorial Regional Health CEO Andy Daniels when he unveiled a draft of the plan to the public on March 1.

There are no plans to ask taxpayers to help fund the project.

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

Determining exactly how to finance the project is the next phase of planning and is done through a financial feasibility study.

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

Early renderings show a three-story building, but only two stories would be completed leaving the third, unfinished story for expansion. The board also approved funds to hire an architect to complete detailed drawings.

Other options — such as the renovation of the existing medical clinic, purchase and renovation of one of the many vacant buildings in Craig or smaller expansions on the existing hospital — proved too costly or unfeasible.

Results of the feasibility study will ultimately determine, if and when construction might occur, but the hope is to get through the design phase and put the project out for bid in November, said Vice President of Hospital Operations Jennifer Riley.

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