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Teardown? Healthcare board weighs fate of old hospital

The Forde Files No. 182


January 5, 2019

Tina Fisher Cunningham

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District board of directors is asking the public to offer ideas regarding future use of the old hospital on West E St.

The 64-year-old structure needs significant refurbishing to meet building codes, and the district board of directors is looking at estimates for remodeling. At the Dec. 18, 2018 board of directors meeting, President Mike Nixon said that the cost of remodeling would be high and that the real value is in the land.

Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley, which is leasing all the district's properties in addition to the new hospital for 30 years, can maintain occupancy of the building for three more years before it decides to keep the building or turn it back to the healthcare district. Board director Dr. Sam Conklin, who delivered many babies at the old hospital, asked what it would cost to demolish.

District Manager Caroline Wasielewski said that Kern County had not come to remove the fuel from the industrial diesel generator at the old hospital. The cost to refuel and maintain the generator is in excess of $1,000 a month. "We can't let it sit there and not be used," Wasielewski said. An out-of-state buyer has offered to pay $2,000 for the generator.

Wasielewski and Business Manager Lisa Hughes have been working with Adventist to clean up the trailers that had provided office space behind the old hospital. The district owns two and leases the others. The area may ultimately provide additional city parking.

District counsel Scott Nave said the district cannot use the properties for buisness enterprises because of its public, nonprofit status.

"We can't do unrelated taxable income," he said.


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