News

Blackhawk bids $822K for hospital

Purchase could lay groundwork for construction of $20-million new facility
By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

Dr. John M. Weed III, hospital district board president, checks over Blackhawk bid seconds after it was opened on Monday. Reporter/Mike Brown Dr. John M. Weed III, hospital district board president, checks over Blackhawk bid seconds after it was opened on Monday. Reporter/Mike Brown Blackhawk Healthcare has submitted a bid of $822,000 to purchase Richards Memorial Hospital.

That was the only bid submitted to the Rockdale Hospital District board, which opened bids Monday but took no action after an executive session with its attorney, Fletcher Brown.

Blackhawk bid $742,000 for the hospital and its facilities plus $80,000 for a house located on the same block, bordered by Brazos, Pecos and Meadow streets.

The sale does not include the Milam Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC) building which is also located on the hospital block.

First step

Sale of the hospital facility is the first step in the construction of a new hospital for Rockdale on the site of RMH, which opened in 1974.

In October, Blackhawk officials told hospital board members they were ready to proceed with a new facility on-site after considering other options.

Very preliminary plans indicate the present 45,000-square foot hospital will be exhaustively renovated and new construction will expand the building to somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 square feet.

That doesn’t include the current 7,000 square foot Family Care Center outside the hospital main building.

The new area of RMH is currently envisioned to contain a new emergency room, surgical and recovery area. Though the board is far from the architectural phase, Dr. Weed told Rotary Club members on Tuesday he estimated it would be a $20 to $25-million construction project.

The project will be funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It will be 9-12 months before arthitectural plans are expected, he said.

Weed also said services performed at the medical clinic at 602 N. Main would eventually be phased into operations at the main hospital campus.

Committee HUD also required the district to call for bids in the sale process.

But the bid package was structured to require that any entity submitting a bid must continue to operate a hospital on the site.

Blackhawk submitted the only bid.

Board members took no official action on the bid after an executive session with attorney Fletcher Brown.

A committee composed of board members Mike Vance and Karolyn Puccio was appointed to negotiate with Blackhawk.

Weed also told the civic club that the halfcent sales tax collected for indigent care may eventually be phased out entirely.

“We still have commitments to charity care, as stated in the district’s rules, but the board feels the tax is no longer appropriate” given Blackhawk’s private business status. “We are hoping to eventually phase it out.”

2010

Gail Crawford, hospital district secretary, said terms of four board members will expire this year and will be filled in a May 8 election.

Those are the terms of Larry Jackson Sr., Richard Burns, Mike Vance and Carl Hudson.

Assisted living full

Crawford reported the hospital assisted living wing is full with 10 residents and a waiting list that’s grown to eight.

Crawford said the wing has the capacity for 12 residents but two larger rooms which can house two persons are currently only rented by individuals.

She reported work is being done on water leaks in three rooms at RMH.

BID HIGHLIGHTS

• $742,000 for hospital building • $80,000 for home on corner of Brazos and Pecos

Bid is first step toward construction of new 26-bed hospital, which could expand current 45,000- square-foot building to between 60,000 and 80,000 square feet.

Board may eventually move to abolish half-cent sales tax, collected to assist with indigent care.


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2010-01-07 digital edition



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