Leadville Hospital Reveals Plans for New Facility
Last November, Lake County voters passed two ballot initiatives concerning health care in the area, creating new tax increases for residents living within the St. Vincent Hospital (SVH) District.
Part of that plan included a new hospital. According to SVH officials, the current hospital facility is out of date and faces many plant challenges from failing infrastructure, heating and plumbing – to ADA non- compliant rooms and potential asbestos remediation, if remodeling were to be undertaken.
Since voters gave the go-ahead, efforts have moved forward towards building a new medical facility. On June 15, local residents were invited to a “New Construction Meet & Greet” to review the new medical facility’s design and architectural plans. Representatives from the SVH Board and administration, Centura Health and Davis Partnership Architects were in attendance to answer questions and listen to feedback from the public and Lake County residents.
The proposed location of the new facility was the topic that created the most concerns from neighborhood residents. The hospital’s current location is at 822 W. 4th Street, while the proposed new site sits east of that, between the new dog park – in the treed area – and the hospital’s emergency entrance. This puts the new facility a bit more “in people back yards.”
“Many of our neighbors on 6th Street are concerned with the effect the hospital location will have on them – being closer to their homes,” stated Karen Onderdonk, SVH Director Outreach and Development in an email to Leadville Today. “It is our goal to have open discussion and dialogue with them. We will invite them to a meeting in the near future.”
In the meantime, there is a conditional use permit hearing at the Leadville City Council meeting on July 5 that will also address concerns about the proposed new location. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall located on the corner of 8th and historic Harrison Avenue.
“We anticipate and look forward to an ongoing conversation with the community about the new facility,” added Onderdonk. Concerned citizens are also welcome to attend hospital board meetings and make public comment. The SVH Board meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. in the hospital conference room. There is also a St. Vincent Hospital telephone hotline which is checked every 48 hours for any questions or concerns: 719-486-7131.
Other feedback that came out of the design meeting concerned the overall look of the building. It was apparent right away that folks like design #1 over #2; most agreed it matched up with Leadville’s overall historic architectural feel.
In addition, the floor plan was revealed. The approximate size of the new hospital is 19,000 square feet and will be home to the services currently offered at St. Vincent Hospital and include options for future service expansion. View floor plan HERE.
The services currently intended to be in the new facility are:
- Emergency Room
- Primary Care Medical clinic
- Specialty Clinics
- Physical Therapy
- Support services such as IT and Plant Operations
So what’s all of this going to cost? What’s the bottom line, the price tag?
The budget for the new facility is $18.6 million. According to hospital officials, the new facility will be financed by a federal USDA loan for 35 years and 2.87% interest. The USDA loan will also be used to refinance $1.6 million in existing revenue bonds that the hospital holds. SVH will receive a formal response regarding the loan from the federal agency in September. Current BUDGET Info.
While the process was described by one attendee as “building the plane as you’re flying it,” the century-old healthcare provider stays committed to transparency to voters. Residents and other interested parties can stay plugged into the latest news via the St. Vincent Hospital Facebook Page and/or their website. The St. Vincent Hospital Board Meets every third Thursday at the hospital conference room. For more information, call 719-486-7135.