- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - An aging and oversized hospital in Maquoketa will likely be replaced with a new hospital.

Consultants have identified many problems with the building, including outdated plumbing, a crumbling roof, and inefficient heating and cooling systems.

Members of the Jackson County Regional Health Center’s board of trustees gave facility administrators approval Tuesday to solicit bids for an architect and construction manager, The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1WmDAbo ) reported.

“The board of trustees has known for some time we work in an aged facility. That’s not anything new,” said Coleman. “One of the things that really prompted us to take pause and look at the condition of the facility is we’re considering a changed affiliation (with) Genesis Health Systems.”

A study from InVision Architects says it’ll cost $12 million to $15 million to address the more than 60-year-old hospital’s inadequacies.

“We will not be renovating the current building,” said Curt Coleman, an administrator for the hospital. “It’s way too expensive.”

Genesis Health Systems - a Quad Cities-based network of hospitals, rehabilitation centers and outpatient clinics - oversees the hospital’s operations.

The size of the hospital is a major concern, according to Mike Sharp, vice president of construction and design for Genesis.

“The current facility is in poor condition for several reasons,” he said. “One, it’s bigger than it needs to be, so from a department, operational, functional standpoint, it’s very inefficient.”

The new facility would be significantly smaller than the current, 131,000-square-foot hospital at just 80,000 square feet.

It’s unclear whether the new hospital will be built at the existing site, and a cost estimate isn’t available yet.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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