On the heels of more than 100 letters of support, on July 28 the Board of County Commissioners approved the Society Turn development, which begins to pave the way for a new medical center.

The Telluride Hospital District has been working to secure a 2.6 acre parcel of land, within the Genesee Properties, for a new home for the community’s health care.

Wednesday’s approval cleared the second step in a five step process.

“A new facility would improve the community’s access to healthcare, offer advancements in preventive care and outpatient services and usher in a long-awaited new era for everyone who depends on our clinic for both primary and emergency services,” said Richard Betts, chairman of the Telluride Hospital District, the governing body of the Telluride Regional Medical Center.

The next step is a Planning Commission Review and Recommendation of Preliminary PUD and Subdivision Plan, though a timeline for next steps is not presently known.

What is known is that representatives from the Telluride Hospital District will meet again with the Board of Commissioners in September to discuss employee housing for med center staff, Critical Access Hospital status and design details for a new facility.

According to independent surveys the current medical center, built in the 1960’s on land owned by Newmont Mining Company, is woefully undersized and outdated. A new facility would double the square footage and meet today’s current medical and building codes.

“For years this community has relied on the dedicated doctors and nurses who care for us despite less than ideal resources. A new medical center would be a game changer for them — and for us. Knowing that modernized care is one step closer, that’s inspiring,” said Betts.

Additional to a new medical facility, other community benefits of the Genesee Properties development plan include conveyance of land to accommodate expansions/renovations of Wastewater Treatment Plant; transfer of land to County for open space and public use purposes; development of trails; land allocated for private development of employee housing, medical offices; retail; offices; flex space; guest lodging and conference facilities.

For more information about the Genesee Properties development plan visit societyturn.info.