Groundbreaking ceremony planned for new medical center

February 09, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - More than five years after the project was announced, Washington County Health System officials will break ground Wednesday for the new Washington County Regional Medical Center adjacent to Robinwood Medical Center.

Groundbreaking ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. with presentations from health system representatives. The groundbreaking will be at the Memorial Gardens at Robinwood about 11:30 a.m.

Health system officials announced their decision to build a new hospital at the Robinwood site in November 2002. At the time, cost estimates for the project were in the range of $150 million and the hospital was expected to open by 2007.

After years of delays and legal battles, the cost has grown.

The project's projected cost has nearly doubled to almost $295.8 million, spokeswoman Maureen Theriault said Friday.

The Washington County Regional Medical Center is scheduled to open in November 2010, health system officials said in a press release.


Nearly two years of legal challenges against the site of the new hospital ended in November 2007, when the state's highest court rejected a residents group's final appeal.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled in August 2007 against a group of residents - Robert C. Hatch, Sally R. Hatch, Charles B. Hongell, Gordon A. Bartels and Janet E. Bartels - but they twice asked the court to reconsider the case.

On Nov. 28, the court denied the second request, effectively ending the case.

The residents didn't file a petition asking the appeals court to review the case.

The new medical center will be about 502,608 square feet, with 267 single-patient rooms, 17 operating rooms and an expanded emergency department, health system officials said in the release.

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