Local News

WMC board members could reconsider new hospital design

The Wrangell Medical Center board wants to take another look at the design plans for the proposed new hospital.

Any movement concerning the hospital has been stalled for the last several months. During last month’s WMC board meeting, Borough Manager Tim Rooney mentioned the city will terminate the loans that were initially in place for construction. The borough was in the midst of a new application process for funds through the USDA. Rooney mentioned during that meeting he expected no complications with funding.

Bernie Massin said he wants to hold workshops to discuss the design plans and begin moving forward.

“I’d like to get some extra workshops going, as many as it takes so we can break ground this spring. Let’s figure out what we’re doing and do it. There’s no sense stalling it any longer. Figure out, is it going to work? Yes? No? If it’s going to work, let’s do it. The old plans, I think we throw them out the window. I don’t like them. I hate them. And start from scratch and just do it,” he said.

A few other members shared Massin’s feelings about the design. Those plans were approved by the previous board, which was recalled over the summer. If the board did scrap the plans, that would mean additional costs for new designs. Hospital Board Liaison James Stough and Board President Woody Wilson both mentioned the need for the WMC officials to meet with the borough to discuss the project.

“Part of the way we do business in Wrangell is that when the money is found, and money is located and the building is approved, the borough takes control and ownership of getting that construction finished. So when the money is established and is there, the borough basically takes charge. They will be the construction team. We’re an advisory kind of board from that point forward when it gets to the construction of the hospital,” he said.

Wilson said there is supposed to be a meeting concerning the new hospital in January, but board members were pushing for a workshop to prepare for that gathering. No specific date was set during the meeting.

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