What Do You Think?

November 05, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on Readers also may submit comments when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Monday was: What should Washington County Hospital officials do with the existing hospital building when the new medical center is ready for occupancy?

Poll results:

Demolish it -- 236 votes (23%)

Sell it -- 175 votes (17%)

Lease it -- 47 votes (5%)

Give it to the city -- 71 votes (7%)

Use it for urgent care -- 383 votes (38%)

Something else -- 102 votes (10%)

o "Parts of the existing building could be torn down, especially the newer additions on the front, to allow better access and make it more attractive to a buyer. The grounds, with grassy areas and large trees, used to make the site much more attractive than it currently is. Selling it would bring in some revenue for the hospital while tearing down the entire building would be very costly."


o "Even giving it away may be better then paying almost $4 million to demolish it, plus you could keep collecting property taxes on the property. You could also consolidate all the various government agencies there. Didn't (Washington County Commissioner Kristin B.) Aleshire have this great idea to buy an expensive building for a couple of million to consolidate everything? Why not make this the headquarters for all the government agencies in this county? One-stop shopping and perhaps some savings rather then having the city, county, state and federal buildings scattered everywhere? I just can't imagine what the private sector would use this for."

o "Turn it into a senior living facility and urgent care center."

o "Having worked in the hospital in the past, and being everywhere throughout the building, from the sub-basement to the penthouse, let me just say the maintenance crew has done an outstanding job taking care of the structure. Yes, the older half is very old, but I feel the building would serve well as a veterans hospital or something. I also feel it has some historical value, and would therefore be opposed to the building being demolished."

o "Sell it and use the money to help pay for the new one."

o "I'd like to see it become another hospital. A group could come in and compete with the new one. I'm originally from York, Pa., and there are two different hospitals up there that compete with one another. Why not here?"

o "The problem with making it into another hospital or similar would be staffing. With the nursing shortage we already have, how would one staff another hospital? If the economy ever turns around, it could be sold and revamped into an office building or something. As it stands now, I think the economy is in too bad a shape to expect much of anything to be done with it for a while."

o "I think several businesses could go into that building. Costs too much to tear it down. The city needs to make money, not spend money."

o "It could be used for an urgent care on the first floor, maybe a couple of floors for veterans affairs, medical procedures, any other veterans affairs that need to be taken care of, and the balance of the rooms could be used for senior citizen housing."

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