IT'S OFFICIAL: Former general site sold for $2 million

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The property containing the former Cornwall General Hospital has been sold.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Community Hospital has sold the property that used to house the former general hospital for $2 million.

The announcement, which was first reported by Seaway News earlier Monday, was later confirmed by the hospital.

The three-acre site, along with all buildings as well as an adjacent 1.5 acre parking lot, has been purchased by an Ottawa development group for $2 million. Proceeds from the sale will be directed to help fund a project that will see the hospital move towards electronic patient records, said a press release.

"The sale is timely as it will help us jumpstart one of the largest projects that the hospital has ever taken on," said Michael Turcotte, chair of the hospital board. "Once implemented, the electronic patient records will offer greater efficiencies in delivering information to health professionals when they need it the most.

"It is a project that will benefit every family in Cornwall, S.D.G., and Akwesasne."

A source told Seaway News the site is being purchased by a development group that is already involved several long-term care facilities, though that information was not immediately confirmed by hospital officials.

In fact, the hospital has not disclosed the identity of the development group.

Shaun MacDonald, communications director for the hospital, said a confidentiality agreement bars the hospital from announcing the identity of the new owners at this time.

But he said "over the next few weeks" the new owner is expected to reveal themselves via an official announcement, which should also include their plans for the building.

The Second Street site became surplus to the Hospital's needs following the redevelopment and expansion of the McConnell Street site. The hospital was directed to decommission the site by the Ministry of Health.

But critics of the sale are already suggesting the move is a mistake.

"I'm very, very disappointed," said Mark MacDonald, a former city councillor and community activist who preferred to see the property sold to a local group with a view to opening a publicly-funded health-care facility that included a social housing component. "I think this deal is being shoved down our throats.

"The politicians never got involved like they should have."

The ongoing relocation of hospital services and personnel to the McConnell Avenue site is expected to be completed by the summer.

The new owners are currently working on plans that call for extensive renovations and improvements to the site. Those plans are expected to be finalized sometime over the next several weeks.

More to come.

Organizations: Seaway News, Cornwall General Hospital, Cornwall Comunity Hospital Cornwall Community Hospital

Geographic location: Ontario, Marlborough

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