A panel studying how to solve the space needs of three community health agencies has focused on six proposals presented by a local architect.
The panel, which includes representatives of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, the Visiting Nurses Assn., Lawrence Memorial Hospital and local government officials, intends to present its recommendations to the Lawrence and Douglas County commissions early next year.
On Tuesday, Lawrence architect David Evans presented to the panel six preliminary proposals to renovate or expand two former wings of LMH or to construct a new building across from the hospital on Maine Street between Second and Third streets..
No firm cost estimates were discussed. The most expensive proposal would be to construct a new three-story, 81,000-square-foot building on the land east of the hospital. The least expensive proposal would be to renovate the hospital's 1956 wing, already in use by the health care agencies, and the hospital's 1928 wing. But this plan would not meet the projected needs of the agencies.
The architect also suggested the option of housing one of the agencies in the county-owned Valley View Care Home, 2518 Ridge Court, which will be vacant within 18 months, or elsewhere in the city, perhaps in East Lawrence. But the agencies have expressed a desire to be housed together and near the hospital.
The panel will meet again at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 16 at Lawrence city hall to discuss a more formal report on the options for housing the agencies.