New Jefferson hospital could take till 2019

CHARLES TOWN — It’s been two years since the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Jefferson Medical Center, but it could be 2019 before the new facility opens, said Christina DeRosa, the hospital’s chief administrative officer.

“We’re working closely to have the infrastructure in place by the fall,” DeRosa said. “We hope to have water and sewer at the site. We have a subcommittee that has been working mostly on the infrastructure for the last two years and we’re very determined to have water and sewer on the property.”

At the 2012 groundbreaking, DeRosa announced that construction would take five years. That same year, DeRosa told the Spirit of Jefferson that the new medical center would open in 2017. But two years in, it is unlikely that target date will be met.

“The chances are, that is not going to happen,” she said in an interview Monday.

Plans for the new center, on a 50-acre former farm along U.S. 340 in Charles Town, have been slow to materialize. Last month, a steering committee made up of medical center officials met for the first time to discuss building plans. The committee will hold its second meeting in July.

DeRosa said the committee, which consists of physician representatives and hospital board members, will be working closely to assess what is needed in the new medical center. Following the second meeting, DeRosa said she will have a better idea how much it will cost to build the new facility.

“We’re continuing to take a critical assessment of the hospital and look at what should be added,” she said. “There is no price tag yet.” DeRosa said the issue of cost should be resolved within the next five weeks.

In 2012,  DeRosa said that before crews construct the hospital, they’ll likely build other elements of the medical center, such as a medical office building, an interactive education facility and a wellness center. That has not changed, she said.

“The hospital will be the last to be built,” she said.

Though plans for the medical campus have included an urgent care center, a patient and community health education center, an interdisciplinary medical library and a skill development/simulation laboratory, a lot depends on the wishes of the hospital’s board members.

“We’re really waiting for the board to give us direction,” DeRosa said.

The location of the planned hospital is thanks to Dr. Jules F. Langlet, who practiced in Charles Town and at Jefferson Memorial for decades before his retirement.

The Langlets donated 10 acres of the site to Jefferson Health Care Foundation and the medical center paid $1.2 million for the rest of the property.

The Jefferson Medical Center, located at 300 S. Preston St. in Ranson, opened to patients in 1975. Upgrades have included an overhaul of the emergency department and the introduction of the digital mammography at its Women’s Imaging Center.

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