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Catholic Charities waiting for hospital renovation decision (1:42 p.m. 7/13/09)

Paul Snyder
paul.snyder@dailyreporter.com

It could take months for a state decision on whether Wisconsin Memorial Hospital on the Mendota Mental Health Institute campus will be saved or demolished.

Seth Boffeli, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said Monday the department is launching a statewide review of all buildings on seven mental-health campuses. The review, he said, likely will take several months.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities of Madison is waiting for a decision on the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital.
The state originally planned to demolish the 89-year-old, vacant building this summer, but Gov. Jim Doyle in April cancelled the project and ordered further review of a renovation project.

Gary Gorman, president of Oregon-based Gorman & Co. Inc., proposed a $3.4 million renovation of the building using mainly tax credits, but DHS leaders questioned how realistic that estimate was.
State contractors last month said a renovation would cost at least $6 million.

If Gorman renovates the building, Catholic Charities will consolidate all operations to the hospital. But organization President Brian Cain said he wants a state decision as soon as possible.

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