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Hospital building study delayed

August 16, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - It could be two more months before Jefferson Memorial Hospital officials know whether they will build a new hospital, the hospital's administrator said this week.

In early June, Chief Operating Officer John Sherwood said he expected a master facilities plan would be completed in about two months. The plan was developed to determine whether a new hospital should be built.

On Monday, Sherwood said the architectural firm doing the study needs more time to develop architectural drawings for different construction proposals.

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The drawings will include ideas for renovating the existing hospital, building a new hospital on the current site, or building a new hospital somewhere else, Sherwood said.

Sherwood said he hopes the master facilities plan will be completed in less than two months, although he said that may not be possible.

The architectural firm developing the plan is Ellerbe Becket, which has offices in Washington, D.C., Sherwood said.

In June, Sherwood said building a new hospital would cost between $40 million and $60 million.

Although the current hospital could be renovated, it is expected to cost about the same, he said.

Sherwood said he and other hospital administrators are considering building a new hospital because the current 60-bed hospital at 300 S. Preston St., has space limitations and parts of its layout are not conducive to efficient operations.

If hospital officials decide to build a new facility, they probably would have to consider a combination of capital revenue sources such as philanthropic organizations and borrowing to pay for the hospital, Sherwood said.

If the hospital were renovated or a new one built at the current site, a former nursing home next door that used to be operated by the hospital could be torn down, he said.

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