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Hospital settles on building to become surgery center


Carroll County General Hospital settled yesterday on the purchase of the county Health Department building at 540 Washington Road for $4.5 million.

The hospital plans to put a $5.2 million freestanding surgery center on the building's first floor and to house outpatient and diagnostic treatment services on the second floor. Hospital officials say the building's 149 parking spaces will ease a parking shortage at Carroll County General.

Health Department employees are expected to vacate the building in June and construction on the new surgery center will begin shortly thereafter, said hospital spokeswoman Gill Chamblin.

The ambulatory surgery center will contain three main operating rooms, a minor procedure room, an ophthalmology laser room and 16 recovery cubicles.

Two separate tax-exempt bond issues totaling $13 million will pay for the renovations. Some of this money will also cover the cost of the hospital's emergency department expansion and east-wing renovations, Ms. Chamblin said.

The Health Department will move its offices to 300 S. Center St., Westminster, at the site of the Carroll Community College Business and Industry Center.

According to the terms of the sales agreement, the hospital will pay the Carroll County government $2 million in cash for the building and turn over 100 acres near Routes 30 and 428 in Hampstead to the county. The land is valued at $25,000 an acre. Zoned for industrial development, the land is part of a 400-acre

tract bequeathed to the hospital 30 years ago.

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