Cumberland Times-News

August 3, 2013

Tearing it down might be the best thing that could be done

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Having read the reader commentary by Colleen Burke in the Times-News (“They could care less about us,” July 26 Times-News), I feel that the proposed demolition of Memorial Hospital is too important of an issue to allow only one perspective to be reflected in the newspaper.

I for one appreciate Mayor Brian Grim and his administration’s willingness to tackle these difficult decisions. There is no question that the fate of a hospital, a place where people were born and others passed away, requires careful consideration.

However when the Western Maryland Health System walked away from the property and the city inherited this burden, which has reportedly cost more than $2 million worth of taxpayer funds already, the city was left with a building that the hospital system was saying that even they did not want.

What do you do with an old hospital building? Many other cities have had to deal with this very question and in the end, they have had to tear theirs down as well. Hagerstown just dealt with this same issue and even with a booming economy, they couldn’t make it work.

Rather than allow this monstrous size building that nobody has been willing to buy to become yet another blighted property, Mayor Grim and the City Council have tackled this issue head on.

I applaud our elected officials for making the difficult decisions that will ultimately save the city money, create jobs, and allow for more development in our beautiful town.

Thank you, mayor and city council members for considering all options for this building carefully and for your determination to make the difficult decisions we’ve entrusted you to make.

 Diane White, former nurse at Memorial Hospital, Cumberland