New use and future for historic building
Apr 05, 2016 | 7596 views | 0 0 comments | 426 426 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The uranium mill administrative building was repurposed as the first San Juan Hospital after World War II.  After serving a number of purposes over the years, the building is now a temporary home to sPower, owner of the Latigo Wind Park.  After new offices are built, the building and land will be donated to the City of Monticello.  Photo courtesy San Juan Hospital
The uranium mill administrative building was repurposed as the first San Juan Hospital after World War II. After serving a number of purposes over the years, the building is now a temporary home to sPower, owner of the Latigo Wind Park. After new offices are built, the building and land will be donated to the City of Monticello. Photo courtesy San Juan Hospital
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With the many lives it has already gone through, the building just above the Hideout Golf Club in Monticello has a new one for the short term!

Originally built in the early 1940s, the building housed the Vanadium Corporation of America’s uranium-vanadium plant administrative offices. The federal government bought the mill in the mid 1940s and then later donated the building to San Juan County to become the home of the first San Juan Hospital in 1947. The first San Juan County Hospital operated there until 1960, when the current San Juan County Hospital was built.

The hospital building was the site of many births and also the location of triage after the tragic explosion of the Lariat Café in 1956.

From 1960 until 2000, the building had several lives, including a brief stint as the first clubhouse of the golf course and as a restaurant and a nightclub. Gary Martinez purchased the building with the hopes of using it for a golf camp.

In 2000, the building was purchased by Four Corners School of Outdoor Education and repurposed for its office until the School moved into its new, state-of-the-art Canyon Country Discovery Center campus in late 2015.

In a win-win agreement by all concerned, the building will be sold by Four Corners School to sPower as a temporary office space to manage their local operations on the newly constructed Latigo Wind Park north of Monticello.

sPower is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and New York City and is a leading renewable energy company that owns and operates solar and wind farms across the US and the UK.

Once sPower no longer needs the building, the company will donate it to the City of Monticello, along with up to $30,000 in funds for demolition and remediation. Remediation is needed because of the asbestos shingles under the stucco coating.

The City will repurpose the property to support operations at the Hideout Golf Course and Community Center.

If a cat can have nine lives, so can a building. Oh, the stories it could tell of Monticello residents working to make the old building into a hospital. Bake sales and dances were held to fund the purchase of equipment. Volunteers did much of the remodeling. Hospital linen showers were held. Beds were constructed or donated. Sterilization of equipment was done in a pressure cooker and an electric oven.

Four Corners School staff will always remember the mice poking their noses through the drop ceiling and the families of cats that lived under the house, helping to address the mouse problem.

In the future, the city will be able to further develop the land around the community center and golf course.
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