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Artesia General Hospital looks to expand

Mike Deans

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — The west side of Artesia General Hospital could be expanding.

That was the word given last week during the January meeting of the Artesia Special Hospital District Board of Directors.

Dennis Maupin, ASHD chairman, said the sewer and drainage system in that part of the hospital is aging and so work will need to be done to fix the problem.

Maupin told the board that AGH Chief Executive Officer Bob Tyk and Chief Operating Officer Kai McSwain have been talking with Condray Design Group out of Lubbock. That organization developed a floor plan for the proposed expansion.

McSwain explained there would be new outer walls on the building’s periperhy which is facing 13th Street.

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“We’re losing our ability to drain sewage,” he said. “We need to retro that in order for it to make sense.”

He told the board that workers are better off shutting down the lines and doing expansion rather than tearing up concrete.

“Otherwise you’d be without a kitchen for a longtime?” Maupin asked.

“Correct,” McSwain responded.

“Right now we could use it until we get this built,” Maupin said. “Then they can come back in and redo that area there.”

Right now, patrons at the Green Chile Cafe at AGH are served meals on styrofoam trays, once the work is done, McSwain said there will be a machine to wash dishes.

In order to finance it, Maupin said the district would pay for part of the work from some cash that would be carried over from a previous bond sale which is around $1.5 million.

“Plus we have some funds that have built up as a result of the rent payments we are getting from buildings,” Maupin said. “My thought is we would be taking on this project and it’s currently estimated to be close to $3 million for this new addition.”

Maupin added there would be some meeting rooms as part of the addition, along with expanding the kitchen. He added there would be more of a maintenance area to work with.

“To me it seemed like a worthwhile project for us,” Maupin said.

Board member Jef Butcher asked how many people could be fed once the cafeteria is expanded.

“The kitchen right now is incapable of serving our current capacity,” McSwain said. “It’s not built for the volumes we see right now. The kitchen we’re designing is scaleable, we built it kind of forecasting the backend could have the most amount of growth, but the frontend could handle up to a 100 bed hospital.”

“So this thing ought to take care of our needs for years to come?” Butcher asked.

“That’s the point,” McSwain answered.

Board member Mike Deans said service clubs could use the meeting rooms and meals could be served to them.

“There’s a whole lot of advantage to have the meeting room space,” Deans said. “That is a big old honkin’ meeting space when you get it all open. We just gotta do it guys.”

Once the discussion ended the board proceeded to move ahead with the project.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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