Until new public hospital is built, GMH currently looking at $35M in maintenance projects

Guam Memorial Hospital (PNC file photo)

While all indications have been that Guam’s long term plan is to build a new public hospital, work to maintain the current facility is still underway.

Guam Memorial Hospital has been ailing from structural issues for years and several months ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a report detailing the projects needed to stabilize the current building.

William Kando, the hospital’s associate administrator of operations, says figuring out a design and building a new facility could take from 5 to 7 years and while that happens, the current building is getting through some critical maintenance.

Kando says those projects come with a hefty price tag and they’re trying to prioritize the projects they absolutely can’t do without.

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“But it is a pretty substantial amount of money that we still need and we’ve detailed it approaching $35 million. The Army Corps estimated it at $21 million. A lot of it has to do with, for example, fixing our roof – that’s a major one. The Governor has helped and supported us financially in order to do that with about $1.5 million. So that’s one of the projects,” Kando said.

He added: “And just a variety of other projects…we’ve detailed close to 20 projects that we need to do. Some of them we may not end up doing, we’re not sure if we’re actually going to replace our main [electrical] panel. We’re in partnership right now with GPA to maintain our existing…and if we can keep that going for the next 5-7 years while the new hospital is being built, then we’ve saved quite a bit of money. Possibly close to $6-$7 million.”

In February, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero told PNC News that the price tag for a new hospital could be as high as $737 million.

She said she was speaking to the feds, to see what grants and funding are possible through Washington.

Leon Guerrero said she’s also speaking to the military to discuss the return of some excess federal land on Guam as the site of the new hospital. No location has been confirmed.