South Routt Medical Center board members Steve Strickler, center, and Chuck Wisecup, left, give a tour of the renovated building in Oak Creek to Colorado Department of Local Affairs officials. Staff will be moving into the new building April 11.

Photo by John F. Russell

South Routt Medical Center board members Steve Strickler, center, and Chuck Wisecup, left, give a tour of the renovated building in Oak Creek to Colorado Department of Local Affairs officials. Staff will be moving into the new building April 11.

South Routt Medical Center prepares to move into renovated building

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— Exposed brick running down a hallway marks progress in the South Routt Medical Center’s renovated building.

The brick was at the eastern edge of the building but now sits within a larger footprint and completely updated facilities.

Members of the South Routt Medical Center board showed off the organization’s new building Friday to officials with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Oak Creek Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen had the temporary certificate of occupancy in hand as board members Steve Strickler and Chuck Wisecup led the officials around the expanded and updated facility, which was built in part with a $200,000 DOLA grant.

The center plans to move back into the new facility April 11 and open the following week.

For now, the original brick facade strikes a hard line between the original footprint and the expansion on the east side of the building. About 1,000 bricks saved from the original exterior will be paired with matching stucco to finish the facade once the weather cooperates, according to Strickler.

What was the easternmost point of the building now leads to a break room (a new luxury), two larger exam rooms and a utility room where the new all-electric heating system and boiler is in place. There’s the option for some solar power in the future, Wisecup said.

The new building also features a lab, space for dental work, an office and a spot for SportsMed. Strickler said SportsMed personnel were consulted for the design of the new space, which has a private screening area and its own entrance.

A curved entryway counter still will greet patients, but much more space is provided for records.

A large, exposed beam in the entry highlights the structural work necessary in the renovations. Beams also circle the building, supporting a roof structure that one day could hold another story.

The new building is “a real showpiece” for the community, Strickler said.

The total price for the project was about $700,000. In addition to the DOLA grant, the center received $75,000 from the Gates Family Foundation.

The South Routt Medical Center board now is considering a lease-purchase agreement to help cover the balance of the construction, pay off some additional lending and leave a cushion for future operating costs.

Unlike the mortgage option considered earlier, the lease-purchase would not need a vote to satisfy the requirements of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, as it does not represent a multi-year commitment. The center could choose to not reauthorize the agreement in any year, but the bank would take the building.

The board anticipates holding a special meeting in April to further discuss the idea. The next regular meeting of the board is at 6:30 p.m. Monday at town offices.

Wisecup and Strickler said the organization’s personnel policies have been updated as well as its organizational structure and bylaws, allowing staff and board members to focus on their roles.

As funds allow, services could expand in the new building. Wisecup said he’s looking into telehealth services for veterans.

The center’s home visit program, which was seeing as many as four visits per day at one point, is a priority.

Wisecup explained that South Routt has a significant population of at-risk elderly residents.

“We have to support the people in the district,” Strickler said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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