Hospital renovation would be expensive

Published 8:59 am Friday, May 15, 2015

In 2017, Davie County Hospital in Mocksville will no longer be used as a hospital.

What will the county do with the building?

The social services and health departments are right across the street, and both are bursting at the seams, their directors told county commissioners last week.

And although Davidson County Community College will begin using a portion of the building for two allied health classes beginning later this summer, the cost for remodeling the building aren’t cheap.

It contains asbestos, and Chris Nuckols, chief building inspector, said removal of that asbestos will likely cost at least $450,000. Add to that the cost of updating the heating and air systems, a new roof which will be needed, and  remodeling for current needs – the cost will skyrocket.

Health Director Suzanne Wright said the office is in severe need of expansion. Four nurses share one small office. Potentially critical records are stored in a shed. The nurse’s station is “standing room only.”

“It’s not an ideal situation,” she said. “All of our needs are spacial.”

“We have staff on top of each other,” said social services director, Tracie Murphy. “We have staff that requires confidentiality that we cannot meet.”

Nuckols said any asbestos removal must be done by a certified company, and that work is expensive. It is even more expensive if the building is being used at the time of the removal.

Most of the asbestos is in floor tiles, pipe insulation, in joint compounds and fire proofing. None is near an area where it could cause harm to the public, but when it is removed, particles could be inhaled that cause health concerns.

Dr. Mary Rittling, community college president, said the immediate need will not require disturbing of asbestos. The lab at the hospital – which isn’t being used – is the perfect place to teach the new courses. There are jobs available for those who complete the courses; some of them will be at the new Davie Medical Center in Bermuda Run.

The programs are surgical tech and central supply certification. Many workers doing those jobs now will have to become certified and need to take the classes, she said.

“Davie County Hospital is the perfect site,” she said. “It is a wonderful way of re-purposing something. We’re very excited. We see this as a wonderful opportunity for the community.”