University purchase of hospital site completed

A $7.1 million transaction has been completed to clear the way for what soon will become Colorado Mesa University to purchase the Community Hospital site in Grand Junction.

The completion of the deal was announced in a news release issued by the university and hospital.

The presidents of the university and hospital announced their plans more than a month ago pending approval by their respective boards and legal teams.

The deal is expected to expedite the construction of a new hospital in Grand Junction while providing more space for a growing college campus.

Under the deal, the hospital will sell its 8-acre site at 12th Street and Orchard Avenue to the college.

The hospital also owns 40 acres at the intersection of G and 23 1/2 roads and plans to a build a new hospital and health care complex there within the next five years.

The college in turn will expand its campus north of Orchard Avenue, starting with the construction of a new residence hall that’s scheduled to open next fall. Once Community Hospital has relocated to its new location, there’s also the potential to use some of the buildings for university programs.

“This partnership is a great example of how our community comes together to get things done,” said Tim Foster, president of what on Aug. 10 officially becomes Colorado Mesa University.

“Not only does this deal jump-start Community Hospital’s project and enable us to break ground on a new student housing complex, it will also provide top-notch instruction space for many of our successful health sciences programs in the next few years. It’s a win-win,” Foster added.

Chris Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Community Hospital, said the transaction “makes a lot of sense” since the university will gain immediate access to about 2 acres of the property to build the new residence hall even as the hospital maintains facilities at its current location until a new hospital is constructed.

“Under the terms of the agreement we will have a comfortable time frame for our hospital to complete a replacement facility and move. The sale of the property expedites this process. We have simply outgrown our existing facility,” Thomas said.