At their January 31, 2019 meeting, the Ruby Valley Medical Center Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with the demolition of the Ruby Valley Hospital building. The decision was made after efforts to identify an economically feasible plan to repurpose the building were unsuccessful. Preparations for the demolition of the building are currently underway. The medical clinic, adjacent to the Ruby Valley Hospital, will not be demolished and the Board of Trustees has entered into an agreement to lease the clinic to the Sheridan Senior Center.
Following the transition of healthcare services to the new Ruby Valley Medical Center in August, 2018, various entities including Madison County and the Town of Sheridan, explored possible uses for the Ruby Valley Hospital building. Requests for proposals for potential uses of the premises were solicited in January, 2019, through The Madisonian and the Ruby Valley Medical Center’s website. No proposals were submitted. “Our board and administration first confronted the obstacles in upgrading the building when we attempted to enhance our healthcare services and resolve ongoing infrastructure issues,” says Ken Walsh, Board of Trustees president. “We found that the costs to refurbish the building exceeded the cost of constructing a new medical center. The building has become a liability and there is no way to economically repurpose it.” The Ruby Valley Hospital was built in 1964 without air conditioning or an automatic sprinkler system for fire protection. It also lacks adequate ventilation and insulation. Other refurbishing concerns include replacement of the boiler, roof and single pane windows, lack of ADA compliant access to bathrooms and asbestos abatement. “The costs of making the necessary repairs and upgrades to the Ruby Valley Hospital building in order to make it safe and usable are prohibitive,” says Ruby Valley Medical Center CEO, John Semingson.
The former Ruby Valley Medical Clinic, which is connected to the Ruby Valley Hospital by a corridor, will be repurposed for use by the Sheridan Senior Center. “We are very pleased that the Sheridan Senior Center will be able to use the Medical Clinic for their services,” says Walsh. The Sheridan Senior Center has begun remodeling the building to meet their needs.
Ingraham Environmental Inc. of Butte is finished removing asbestos materials from the Ruby Valley Hospital on March 14th. Through a competitive bidding process, Allhands Construction was hired to demolish the hospital. Demolition will began March 15th and is expected to take 2-3 weeks.
The Ruby Valley Medical Center’s Board of Trustees is exploring potential uses for the property following the completion of the demolition project. They are evaluating the construction of a parking area which will be available to the Sheridan Senior Center, Ruby Valley Medical Center, customers of Mac’s CHC Pharmacy and Sheridan School. “The pine tree, seating area, trout statue and two of the flowering crab apple trees will remain on the property,” says Semingson. The Board is open to other options for the property.