Midland Memorial Hospital Seeking $115 Million Dollar Bond for Renovations

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Fingers are crossed at Midland Memorial Hospital. Staff members are optimistic a $115 million dollar bond will pass in the May election.

"We're working hard to get our message out there," President and CEO Russell Meyers says the hospital is trying to let voters know what they'll be funding with a yes vote. "This is essentially a replacement project. It's not an expansion project. The point of it is to take the old 1950's beds out of service and replace them with new modern beds."

The project will not add beds to the hospital but shift rooms to a new building in place of the original facility that hospital official say are too small and outdated for modern use.

"It's a struggle for the nurses to bring in their electronic equipment, to do their charting," Charge Nurse Pat Bearden says in an emergency the limited space can be dangerous or just uncomfortable for the staff and patients.

According to the staff, plumbing in the original facility is a big issue. When it was built in the 50's the building didn't have plumbing in each room, it was added later, still it is aging. Bearden says the plumbing backs up, often forcing staff members to move patients.

"To tell them, I am sorry but we're going to have to move you to a different room or different floor if the plumbing backs up. Or if it doesn't smell right and it's making my patient sick, we have to, we just don't have any other choice right now," Bearden said.

The hospital can't start work on the old building because then the old codes grandfathered in would be obsolete. Meyers says it would cost a fortune to bring it up to today's standards.

"It's hard to keep modern equipment in those really old facilities,"  Meyers said.