Damon Scott, Reporter
Oklahoma City-based Miller Development + Architecture reiterated its intent to move forward with a hospital in Los Lunas at a Valencia County Commission meeting May 15.
At issue is whether the project will be a smaller community hospital or a larger-scale Valencia Regional Medical Center. If Miller can secure $20 million in mill levy funds, along with private investors, the project would be a $55 million, 110,000 square-foot medical center. Miller, which came up with the hospital design, has said the hospital would have a wider scope with the addition of the mill levy funds including a birthing center and helicopter pad.
Los Lunas officials also would like to see a larger medical center developed. “Miller would love to have the use of the mill levy funds, but is moving forward regardless,” Ralph L. Mims, economic development manager for the Village of Los Lunas said. Mims said the larger center would bring in 450 jobs and amenities such as satellite facilities, a full-service cafeteria/restaurant and outreach programs.
Belen and Los Lunas government officials have been sparring over the mill levy funds as the location of the hospital has been debated for years. The hospital is set to be constructed on a plot of land located west of Interstate 25 on Highway 6, near a Wal-Mart.
Miller officials said the ground breaking should take place in 2014 with the hospital opening its doors in 2015. Lovelace Health System has agreed to operate the hospital.