Hospital, college seal $7.1 million deal on 8 acres

Chris Thomas, president and CEO of Community Hospital.

Mesa State College officially closed Monday on a deal to pay Community Hospital $7.1 million to move onto the hospital’s 8-acre campus.

The agreement will allow the college to immediately spread its boundaries across Orchard Avenue and onto 2 acres of former Community Hospital land on the northwest corner of 12th Street and Orchard Avenue.

The college plans to begin construction of a three-story residence hall on that corner in about two weeks, according to Mesa State President Tim Foster.

The residence hall is scheduled for completion next summer.

Maintenance and home health employees who worked in a white building on the 2-acre site moved to new locations at the hospital two weeks ago, and the hospital is working on a nearly $100,000 asbestos abatement project in the building.

Employees who used a parking lot on the corner of 12th and Orchard have been directed to park behind Albertsons at 1830 N. 12th St., according to Community Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Thomas.

The college gradually will take over other areas of the hospital’s campus.

Thomas said he expects the college to take possession of the land occupied by the hospital’s medical plaza at 1060 Orchard Ave. in fall 2014. The hospital is talking to tenants of the plaza about relocating. Some may move to the hospital’s future campus at G and 23 1/2 roads.

Thomas said there is also a possibility some physicians could move their offices into a few retail spots on the ground floor of a potential residence hall that may be built north of the residence hall planned for Orchard Avenue.

The college may open that residence hall, which would likely be built along 12th Street, as soon as fall 2013, according to Foster.

“We’ll see how we do (with enrollment) in the intervening years. If we think it’s appropriate next year, we’ll go ahead and start on it,” Foster said.

The college will take over the current hospital site at 2021 N. 12th St. as soon as the hospital can afford to build and move into a building planned at the 40-acre site in northwest Grand Junction.

Thomas said the hospital plans to create a master plan this fall for the new hospital.


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