New Regional Facility Likely to be in Lawson or Mountain Village

The Telluride Hospital District (THD) has taken another significant step in the long journey toward building a new regional medical center.

The THD Board of Directors announced their decision in an open work session on Wednesday to move forward with site negotiations with both the town of Mountain Village and the Lawson Hill Property Owners Company. This was followed by a public forum on Thursday at the Sheridan Opera House where details of this decision were shared.

The parcels being considered include the town hall site in Mountain Village and lots H and I in Lawson Hill.

In making the decision, the THD board members considered two independent recommendations to move forward with both sites by a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and Frauenshuh Consulting, a medical site selection-consulting firm.

THD had received site proposals from the town of Mountain Village, the Lawson Hill Property Owners Association and Big Dog Holdings, LLC in Lawson Hill earlier this summer after issuing a formal Request for Information (RFI) in March.

The town of Telluride did not submit a site proposal for the RV Lot, a parcel voters deemed developable for public use last November.

The Big Dog Holdings, LLC site submission was eliminated from the process, at the recommendation of the CAC, due to zoning restrictions and other obstacles.

"We're thrilled to be moving forward with these two outstanding site proposals," said Telluride Medical Center Executive Director Gordon Reichard.

Highlights of the next phase include THD negotiating with the corresponding governments and stakeholders to determine limitations of each parcel, funding sources, unforeseen risks and approval complexities.

This next phase is expected to take six weeks and THD expects to announce the final site for a new facility once the additional evaluations are complete.

The course of identifying a new location for the Telluride Medical Center began in 2006 when THD Board of Directors began actively pursuing options for a new facility.

In March THD issued a formal RFI to five regional landowners-the RV lot in the Town of Telluride, two separate lots in Lawson Hill and two separate lots in Mountain Village-and their corresponding private and governmental jurisdictions.

After the June 23 deadline, site proposals were summarized and presented to the CAC-a group chosen to represent unbiased voices from the community, specifically those with experience in architecture, engineering and construction -to evaluate the proposals and provide feedback on site suitability, cost, fundraising, future growth and risk.

The CAC includes Ron Allred, Bill Atwell, Erik Dalton, Bunny Freidus, Bill Hoins, Don Kramer, Dan Tishman, Johnnie Stevens and Jodie Wright.

THD has long maintained that the pressure to find a new site for a regional medical center is two fold: the medical center has outgrown the current facility and the potential locations for a new center are ever dwindling.