The editorial board of the Times Dispatch weighs in today with its thoughts on the future of the West Hospital:

The [preservationist] stance suggests mere aesthetics should hold back medical progress. Preservationists — and advocates of the city’s ostensibly “bottom-up” planning process who also have denounced VCU’s plans — doubtless will protest such a characterization. Nevertheless, at least some of them seem to care more about how VCU’s hospital looks to those walking by on the outside than how much it can help the people in need on the inside. It is a badly skewed set of values that places a higher priority on lifestyle than on life itself.

I’ll ignore for now the swipe at the master planning process (I’m struggling to remember what positions the editorial board has expressed regarding the planning process-anyone?) and focus on the comments on the West Hospital.

I am one of those who will protest their characterization of preservationists having badly skewed values.

My question is, when did we accept VCU’s proposition, without challenge, that they have only two options: keep using an outdated ineffective hospital building or tear it down.

Why not sell the building and use the proceeds to build a new hospital nearby?

There’s plenty of vacant land around MCV- currently used as surface parking lots (View Map of Broad & 14th area).

I absolutely agree that MCV should build a new hospital building- I just don’t buy the dichotomy we’re being sold: tear it down or fail the patients.

There may, of course, be good reasons that MCV cannot acquire the vacant land near them- but that their spokespeople (and the TD) never mention it as an option while harshly criticizing their opponents suggests they are bent on pursuing their own agenda.