Hospital District Selects Design Team for New Facility

Hospital District Selects Design Team for New Facility

Last month the Telluride Hospital District (THD) selected an architectural firm, Mahlum Architects, to execute the initial planning and design phases for the proposed new medical center in Mountain Village. Mahlum Architects competed with three other firms for the contract and brings highly specialized experience in healthcare facility design to the project.

 Last month the Mahlum team worked with TMC staff and administrators to begin the design process. The public will also have opportunities to shape the new facility in the coming months (Courtesy photo.)

Last month the Mahlum team worked with TMC staff and administrators to begin the design process. The public will also have opportunities to shape the new facility in the coming months (Courtesy photo.)

The selection process was conducted by THD’s Facility Advisory Committee, a group chosen by the THD to take responsibility for designing, constructing and funding the new regional medical center with continued input from the community.

The Facility Advisory Committee includes Ron Allred, Davis Fansler, Corey Fortenberry, Dan Tishman, and Jim Wells with Dan Garner and Larry Mallard acting as THD board liaisons.

Guided by a patient-centered approach, Mahlum boasts more than 70 years of experience in healthcare design, including work with 17 critical access/rural hospitals. “We create healing environments that reflect the latest sustainable strategies, advanced healthcare delivery and building system technologies, and operational best practices,” said Mahlum’s Design Principal Anne Schopf, FAIA.

“Our team offers significant expertise in the planning, programming, design and construction of inpatient and outpatient care facilities across the west,” said Schopf.

Mahlum is joined by partner Joe Kunkel, co-founder of The Healthcare Collaborative Group. Kunkel, a healthcare operations and finance strategist with 20-years of experience, assists hospital boards in developing sustainable operational models, and has guided multiple rural facilities through the funding and programming decision process. He will provide strategic direction, operations planning and project management in the design/construction of the new facility.

“Mahlum offers a deep understanding of our community, based on past work they’ve done here and the relationships they’ve established with local organizations,” said Telluride Medical Center Executive Director, Gordon Reichard.

Mahlum first worked with THD in 2008 to conduct a pre-bond study.

“They understand our environmental sensitivities and are able to reflect the community’s values in the design of a new facility,” said Reichard.

Mahlum is charged with the first phase of designing a new healthcare facility to replace the Telluride Medical Center, a 10,000-square-foot converted residential building that does not meet current code and cannot accommodate current demands or future expected growth. THD anticipates opening the doors to the new facility within the next five years, though a few hurdles must still be cleared before anything is certain.

With an eye on the dwindling number of suitable lots in the region and a building lease with an expiration date, THD representatives began the course of identifying a new location for a regional medical center in 2006.

In 2013, the independent Health & Wellness Initiative conducted by the Telluride Foundation determined that the region does in fact need a new facility and even identified three suitable parcels, which included the Town Hall Center Subarea parcel offered by the Town of Mountain Village to THD, at no cost. The Health & Wellness Initiative also concluded that to secure the future of healthcare in the region, it is imperative that the new facility meet the medical needs of the community for decades to come.

Before a new facility becomes reality, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must approve a Wetlands Permit and Mitigation Application in addition to other process authorizations from the Mountain Village Design Review Board and from a Task Force commissioned by the Town of Mountain Village to oversee development of the Town Hall Center Subarea.

The Town of Mountain Village will offer public input opportunities and forums for local residents to continue to weigh in on the design process over the next few months and throughout the process.

The Mahlum team initiated the first phase of the design process last month by engaging with project stakeholders and Telluride Medical Center leadership to solidify key principles and performance criteria to guide the project, such as the ability to expand in the future. According to Reichard, other first steps will include confirmation of the intended program, which is currently envisioned to include an expanded primary care clinic, an emergency department procedure room, space for visiting specialists, overnight observation beds, an imaging department and energy efficiency standards. Mahlum will also focus on environmentally sensitive site design and future expansion options.

Together with the THD, Mahlum’s design team will create an interactive communication plan for community input and feedback as the design progresses. Public forums, work sessions with neighbors and status reports, models and maps for circulation on community websites are just a few ways the Mahlum team expects to share the project vision and design as it develops.

The selection of the Mahlum Architects of Seattle and Portland follows Mountain Village Town Council’s unanimous ratification of a land conveyance agreement with THD in January. The agreement transfers a roughly one-acre parcel from the Town of Mountain Village to the Telluride Hospital District. The transfer is contingent on construction beginning within five years of the closing date, ample parking provided for patients, and THD committing $500,000 in earnest money.

“The new medical center will be a cornerstone for the community,” said Schopf. “It will be a place of healing, a place for gathering in times of emergency. The design will reflect local values, history and culture.”


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