A proposal to build a new 120-bed hospital in Albuquerque may be altered to allow for a smaller facility due to budgetary considerations.
After months of review and discussion, members of the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents last summer agreed to let a project to build a new hospital advance to the design phase.
As proposed, the project would also include half a dozen operating rooms and clinical offices.
Initial plans additionally called for the hospital to be built on land owned by UNM just northeast of the University Boulevard and Lomas Boulevard intersection.
But now, some seven months after that vote, Dr. Paul Roth, UNM Health Sciences Center’s chancellor, has suggested a smaller facility may be more in order.
During a recent regents’ meeting, Roth said that although the need for more hospital beds remains unchanged, the university should conduct further studies before proceeding with what is anticipated to be a project that could cost as much as $250 million.
So far, the school has reserved some $200 million to build the hospital.
The project was earlier regarded as only the first phase in the eventual construction of a $684 million hospital with just over 400 beds.
UNM officials have long maintained that a new hospital is especially needed not just because it would provide more bed space, but also because the current structure built in the 1950s is no longer adequate for the hospital’s needs.
By Garry Boulard
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