Telluride Med Ctr: Hospital District & Private Landowner Explore New Home

The Telluride Hospital District announced this week a Memo of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Genesee Properties regarding the potential donation of a 2.6 acre parcel of land at Society Turn for development of a new medical facility.

According to the Telluride Hospital District, the governing body of the Telluride Medical Center, the MoU is an agreement between Genesee Properties and the Telluride Hospital District to work together to secure all the necessary approvals for development of the entire parcel.

“This conversation with Genesee Properties is an exciting step towards meeting the community’s need for an expanded medical facility” said John Gardner, CEO of the Telluride Medical Center.

Staff and administration at the Telluride Medical Center maintain a new site is desperately needed.

For over 40 years, the Telluride Medical Center has leased a remodeled 1960’s building on the corner of Pacific Ave. and Townsend St. from Newmont Mining (formerly Idarado Mining Co.).

The current facility is approximately 10,000-square-feet. An independent report, from a medical architect firm, estimated that based on current building and safety codes, the facility’s size should be doubled—”and that’s before consideration of additional services and room for growth,” said Gardner.

“For years, by way of design tweaks, renovations, staff increases, we’ve worked to keep our patients from feeling the ‘capacity crunch’ at our facility, but inch by inch, our staff is creeping towards a tipping point where it’s no longer comfortable for us to maintain the illusion,” said Dr. Sharon Grundy, the clinic’s Primary Care Medical Director.

“To best provide compassionate, efficient care, we work hard to ensure patients are not sitting in halls or the lobby for extended periods, but the truth is our lab has outgrown its space, we have a manager working from a closet, blood is drawn in hallways and patients have to navigate our hallways in medical gowns to get to the imaging department,” said Dr. Grundy.

The next steps to securing the donation, according to Gardner, require Genesee Properties to secure the requisite land use approvals to classify the development of the Society Turn parcel for “mixed-use” to allow activities, buildings and related improvements proposed by Genesee Properties.

The conveyance of the parcel as a donation to the Telluride Hospital District is conditioned upon Genesee Properties securing these land use entitlements from San Miguel County that meet Genesee Properties development goals.

In a public work session held with the San Miguel County Planning Commission last fall, and at recent public meetings relating to the possible master plan amendment for the Society Turn parcel, Genesee Properties indicated their interest in pursuing a development plan to include free market components including retail, commercial, office, flex space, lodging and similar uses, including required employee housing mitigation, the medical center, expansion of the regional wastewater treatment facility, open space and supporting infrastructure, including water, sewer to serve the project.

In the meantime, according to Gardner, the Telluride Hospital District will refresh its business and feasibility plans for the new medical center and update the programming for architectural design to conform to San Miguel County’s development requirements.

According to Gardner, the Telluride Hospital District will support the efforts of Genesee Properties in anticipation of “ultimately securing a site for a new medical center. Once the land is conveyed, we will move to present design plans to San Miguel County.”

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