Two Sections of Community General Hospital in Fort Fairfield Planned to Be Demolished…TAMC Health Clinic Will Remain Open
A clinic will remain open in Fort Fairfield. The landmark Community General Hospital which houses the TAMC health clinic will stay open to serve patients, however officials have decided to tear down TWO LARGE unutilized parts of the building. Officials say the decision came down to one thing…keeping a healthcare presence in Fort Fairfield that’s cost effective. Shawn Cunningham reports.
TAMC’s health clinic inside the main building of the Community General Hospital will stay open to serve patients. But two other empty sections of the more than 50 thousand square foot building will be torn down say TAMC healthcare officials and Fort Fairfield Municipal leaders. Both sides AGREE it’s the best decision for the building, the practice and the community it serves.
Jim McKinney is the Vice President of TAMC’s Sports Services and says “Patients are used to coming to this facility and we continue to be very busy and its our plan to stay in this location for the long term.”
Fort Fairfield Town Manager Mike Bosse adds “The other uses that they worked on just haven’t panned out and its deteriorating and over time it can only cost the community more.”
“Its a hard decision to make but it needs to be done it doesn’t make sense to have a 50 thousand structure and only using 6 thousand square foot of it and have to heat and maintain the rest of it,” says Tony Levesque, Fort Fairfield’s Community Development Director.
Another push to demolish the building sections is health concerns. McKinney says the two empty wings are full of asbestos. This final decision comes after more than a year of a community led committee trying to find other entities and ideas that would best utilize the empty building space. Levesque says nothing viable ever materialized.
Levesque says “cost to benefit ratio. we looked at many options from housing to business offices to expansion of services and it was more economical if we were going to do those things to start fresh.”
The hospital is a landmark in this community and those making the decision to tear down two parts of the building say its sad. But one good thing that could come out of all this is the addition of services.
McKinney says “the ability for patients to get some psychiatric counseling we’ve added that I believe its one day a week, we may evaluate if the need is there to add additional hours to that.”
McKinney adds the cost of the demolishment project will be 500 thousand dollars. But its money well spent in the short term, that will ultimately save them MORE in the longrun. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.