January 2005 - The Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital Re-Use Committee has concluded that its preferred recommendation would be to have the College of William and Mary relocate a graduate complex anchored by the School of Education to the hospital campus once the new Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center opens in the summer of 2006.
The College could also relocate the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health and possibly other complementary services.
Marc Sharp, Chairman of the SWCH Re-use Committee, reported that the Committee unanimously endorsed the following recommendation:
"Over the past year the Williamsburg Community Hospital Re-use Committee has considered the most appropriate use for the current hospital facility. During its deliberations, the committee established evaluation criteria, identified several possible uses through various processes including a public meeting, discussed the alternatives, selected College use and residential options for further review, received presentations on those options, evaluated the possibilities and discussed them at a public meeting.
Based on its evaluation, the Committee concludes that the most appropriate re-use of the Williamsburg Community Hospital property and facilities is relocation of the College of William and Marys School of Education to the site, including other related uses and graduate student housing, assuming that the College and Sentara Healthcare can agree on an appropriate price for the transaction. The Committee notes that there is precedent for the College to seek State funds for such a transaction. As a result, the Committee recommends that Sentara and local jurisdictions support any College initiatives to obtain State funding in support of this recommendation."
Marc Sharp emphasized the Committees strong support for William and Marys efforts to seek state funding to purchase the hospital building.
"The Re-Use Committee has spent the last year methodically working through a process whereby we considered a number of alternative uses for the current hospital campus," he said. "Of the uses we studied, we clearly feel that the Colleges plans to expand its campus on the current hospital site will result in a real win for the community."
Still to be completed are appraisals by both Sentara and the College to determine the fair market value for the hospital campus.
The committee has acknowledged a precedent set by the proposed Rockingham Memorial Hospital sale to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Rockingham Memorial Hospital announced its plans to relocate the hospital to a new campus and JMU is seeking State funds to help cover the cost of purchasing the hospital campus.
The committees recommendation urges support for a similar process that would permit William and Mary to acquire the Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital. The Sentara Board of Directors yesterday passed a motion in support of the College of William and Mary and the local jurisdiction of Williamsburg in their initiatives to obtain State funding to proceed with the purchase of the Williamsburg Community Hospital site, once the hospital relocates.
The Re-Use Committee was developed in cooperation with the City of Williamsburg and Crossroads Project representatives, and was made up of community leaders from across the Greater Williamsburg area to explore options for the Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital campus once the new hospital opens. The Committee brought in experts to help explore a wide variety of options, including commercial, residential, and other private and public uses.
The committee convened its first meeting in December of 2003 and was comprised of Robert Graves and Kenneth Krakaur, of Sentara Healthcare; Marc Sharp, representing Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital Board of Directors; Jeanne Zeidler, Mayor of Williamsburg; Jack Tuttle, Williamsburg City Manager; Sandy Wanner, James City County Administrator; James Yankovich, Crossroads Project Chair; Jim Golden, Director of Econom ic Development at the College of William and Mary; John Favret, Director of Eastern State Hospital; Michael Fox, President of the Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce; and Jim Joseph from the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg.
The committee hosted public community forums in June and December of 2004 to update interested community members on the process and potential identified re-uses for the current hospital campus. The forums were also designed to solicit feedback from the community as the committee moved through its process. At Decembers forum the committee presented three proposals to the community the first of which included the William and Mary plans to move its School of Education, the other two proposals involved the private development of housing on the current hospital campus.