The Maryland Health Care Commission approved has approved plans for a new Washington County Hospital on the outskirts of Hagerstown. The hospital would replace a 254-bed complex near the city center that includes a building constructed before 1912.
Washington County Health System President James Hamill said the group hopes to break ground in November, with occupancy possible by July 2008. The project still must overcome other hurdles including a zoning change and water and sewer approvals.
The commission issued a certificate of need for the $233 million, 267-bed facility, ending a dispute that became an issue in the city's May 17 mayoral election. Incumbent Democrat William Breichner, who opposed moving the hospital from the city center, was defeated by Republican Richard Trump, who made the new hospital the cornerstone of his campaign.