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TMH board considers moving facilities

Russell Street building could see other tenants

Ben Bulkeley

In with the new, and back to the old.

As The Memorial Hospital prepares to move to its new facility, it might consider moving other entities in to its current Russell Street building.

During a special TMH board meeting Thursday night, George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, said the existing building could potentially be used to house other hospital operations spread throughout town.

Previously, there had been discussion of building a medical office building on the new campus in west Craig, but, with a price tag of more than $7 million, it was not known how the hospital would fund such a building.

The old building could potentially house TMH Rehabilitation Center, which is located in Centennial Mall.

“This is just a temporary solution,” Rohrich said. “But using this building buys us time.”

One of the main considerations for using the old building is to keep it maintained while it’s still on the market, Rohrich said.

Using the building could lead to $300,000 in savings per year, Rohrich said.

The hospital would be able to opt out of leases, and large portions of the building would be closed, cutting down on heating and cooling costs.

Rohrich said the hospital would be able to legally opt out of its leases in the MRI Building, 651 Yampa Ave., and in the mall.

“It protects the old hospital, and we will be able to provide service all in one location,” he said. “And this way, there would still be people in the building.”

Rohrich said the hospital would need minor work to be able to accommodate the other entities, and new signage.

The board agreed to look at the plan in greater detail.

The board also agreed Thursday to apply for a $2 million matching fund Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant to purchase a new MRI machine.

Included in that request will also be equipment upgrades.

Rohrich said the current machine, which was built in 1990, still serves its purpose but is starting to show its age.

“The old machine is worn,” he said.

If TMH receives the grant and purchases a new machine, the old one would be traded in, Rohrich said. Siemens MRI would take the old machine as a $60,000 trade-in, he said.

A new MRI machine would cost about $900,000.

The new machine would be housed in the new TMH building, which is set to open before the end of the year.

Samantha Johnston, service excellence officer, said loan money could be used to match the grant.

“It doesn’t matter where we get the money,” she said, “just so long as it’s in by July 1.”

Because the hospital has shown a commitment in constructing the new building, DOLA would be more likely to invest, Johnston said.

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.


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