Medical plaza could open early in 2014

Dr. Mitch Copeland talks about the concept of Canyon View Medical Plaza, where he envisions a variety of doctors and specialists working together for patients’ well-being under the same roof. The facility is the first step in the relocation and upgrading of Community Hospital.


Specialists expected to occupy Canyon View Medical Plaza:

■ Canyon View Surgery Center

■ Surgical Associates of Western Colorado

■ Community Hospital services

■ Western Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

■ Urological Associates of Western Colorado

■ The Pelvic Health and Wellness Center

■ Mesa Women’s Health Care

Construction of an 87,000-square-foot, $24 million medical building on the west side of Grand Junction is about six months from completion and under budget, thanks in part to the work of local contractors, spokesman Mitch Copeland said.

Canyon View Medical Plaza, a joint venture between Community Hospital and more than a dozen physicians and physician specialty groups, could open its doors near the intersection of 24 and G roads as soon as January, Copeland said.

Roughly 90 percent of the project, including much of the mechanical and electrical work, will be completed using local subcontractors, he said.

“This is having a very positive impact on our local economy,” Copeland said. “Ninety percent of the work that can be done here is being done by local people.”

Right now, the site sees between 75 and 100 workers each day. By September, up to 200 workers could be on site as the project reaches its peak, GWPhipps Construction Companies project superintendent Tim Murphy said.

Even as core and shell work is still under way, construction of more than 80,000 square feet of office space will be at its peak. By September, both floors of the two-story structure will be well on their way to completion, Murphy said.

“This building is a medical office building, but it has most of the aspects of a hospital,” including a surgery center with three operating rooms and an urgent care center, he said.

Considered the first step in a relocation and upgrade of Community Hospital, the medical plaza will eventually connect to the new hospital’s inpatient facility.

“One of the things I am most excited about in constructing a new hospital is the opportunity to design it from scratch to not only better meet the needs of patients, but do so more efficiently and at a lower cost,” said Chris Thomas, president and CEO of Community Hospital.

“Having a partner is important in health care,” Copeland said. “As the competitive environment, the regulatory environment and the national changes in health care occur, we’re going to have to become more efficient.”

An orthopedic surgeon and owner of Western Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Copeland is one of several investors involved in the project. He complimented the “collaborative spirit” of his fellow investors, some of whom refused offers from larger organizations outside Grand Junction in order to stick with the project, he said.

In addition to the initial cost for core and shell construction, Copeland said investors also will pay to buy state-of-the-art medical equipment and build out the suites they will occupy. 

“We’re putting in a new digital X-ray machine that will produce faster, instantaneous images that are better quality. It will be web-based, so we can send images to a physician in Denver or across town instantaneously. No more copying a CD and mailing it. It’s the next generation of technology,” he said.

Copeland said he started sketching plans for the project on a napkin in 2001.

“I said, you know what, an office building that has multiple specialties, economies of scale, improved access and an improved environment for employees and patients alike, that would be a good thing,” Copeland said.

“This project is more than just a business. It’s a dream, a vision that’s come to fruition,” he said.


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