An inspector from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) took slightly more than an hour on December 20, 2012, before giving the new Schleicher County Medical Center a green light to open in the coming weeks.

Hospital administrator Paul Burke and hospital board chairman Randy Mankin were on hand for the inspection. So were the facility’s architects and builders.

Kelly Halls, a partner in Schneider-Halls Design of Austin explained that the TDSHS inspection went well and was in line with other inspections with which he is familiar.

Halls contrasted the inspection to the marathon six-day inspection of the nursing home by a pair of surveyors from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (TDADS).

“They are two separate agencies and they have distinctly different ways of looking at things,” Halls said.

It was noted that documentation requested by the TDADS inspectors is being gathered and a return inspection will be scheduled.

In the meantime, the state agency has issued a temporary waiver allowing the current nursing home to remain open pending final certification of the new one.

On the hospital and clinic side of the building, equipment and supplies will begin to be transferred to the new facility and arrangements are being made to move the hospital’s X-Ray and CT-Scanner to the new building.

Once relocation of the large equipment and emergency rooms begin, emergency calls will be diverted to neighboring hospitals. It is estimated that it could take as long as a week to relocate and calibrate the X-Ray and CT-Scanner.

In May of 2011, Schleicher County voters approved a $17.37 million bond to pay for the new facility. Planning and design of the facility followed as did installation of underground utilities. The concrete foundation wasn’t poured until March of 2012.