This past Thursday, River Hospital C.E.O. B. Moore III and other members of the foundation requested a variance extension for the modular units that house the River Clinic. The temporary units were installed in 2007 and a variance was granted then, which expires in 2014. Mr. Moore requested a 6 year variance extension from this date that would add an additional 3 years expiring in 2017.
The temporary modular units were originally leased but recently have been bought by the Hospital. Mr. Moore's request for the extension is a result of 2 years of million dollar losses, changes in health care government funding, which also included the closing of the nursing home at River Hospital. The hospital has recovered from those almost catastrophic events and Mr. Moore see's 2012 as a good year for the hospital.
The members of the Z.B.A. made it clear that they do not want to do anything that would hurt the Hospital. However, several members echoed concerns from a majority of constituents, that the modular units are an eyesore. Mr. Moore stressed that the Hospital does not currently have the funding to remove the modular units and construct a clinic annexed to the hospital. That is option 1, he also revealed a second option for the location of the clinic. Mr. Moore described a renovation of the second floor as option 2 for the clinic. He went on to say that both option plans are extremely expensive.
The 18 minute audio clip below is from this meeting:
I am one of the many people that see the RH Clinic as an eyesore. I am also concerned that these modular units have recently been purchased instead of leased. Purchasing makes me suspect that the clinic may end up becoming a permanent structure. No matter how you view the appearance of the clinic, it is a viable and functional building that serves this community.
There are other vacant buildings in the vicinity that are bigger eyesores. The Homestead, The Spot, the old sporting goods store, and the Thomson Museum to name a few. Unlike the RH Clinic, these buildings have no function other than occupying space and being ugly. Maybe something can be done to those buildings?