The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District is deciding on future uses of the old hospital location at 115 W. E St.

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District is making plans to remodel the old hospital building at 115 W. E. St. and is seeking proposals from architectural firms to assist in this process.

“We have come up with a lot of good ideas and I think it kind of puts us in a focused direction now,” Mike Nixon, president of the TVHD board, said at the Sept. 17 regular board meeting. He added that the district plans to spend anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million to remodel the building.

Each year the district's operations are funded by property taxes, which are collected and amount to close to $700,000. The district has approximately $4 million set aside to help with operations and other needs, Caroline Wasielewski, the district manager, said in an interview.

Some ideas on renovation of the building include a new metal roof, electrical wiring, upgraded doors, windows, a paint job, knocking down a concrete wall near the south side of the building and adding a mural on the west side of the building to showcase the historical journey of the new hospital.

Nixon said board members of the district walked through the building and determined what the remodel should involve. The future architect will take the vision the district has defined in the Hospital Building Retrofit Request for Proposal and determine how the work can be accomplished.

"We are creating the concept and the vision,” Nixon said. He added, “I figured we have enough talent in the district to have done all of this in house without paying somebody to come in. I did it for free."

According to the RFP, the district "is considering the renovation of the facility into separate working spaces that can be leased and used as the following: adult day care, doctors offices and general office space. The selected architect will be responsible for drafting plans to convert the facility to the proposed uses."

The building could potentially generate $12,000 per month in collected rent, although a study still needs to be finalized, said Nixon.

“The fair market value for evaluating the building is in the process of happening right now,”  Wasielewski said in an interview.

The district is allowing two months to pass in order for various architectural and engineering firms to submit complete proposal packets that outline experience in permitting, construction and other various factors. The district’s deadline to select an architect is Nov. 18.

After an architectural firm is selected, the district will work together with them to bring a final plan of changes to the building before the Tehachapi Planning Commission for approval, said Nixon.

Scott Nave, legal counsel for the district, said the request for proposal should be sent to three to five architectural firms, and once construction begins, the project is to be billed by prevailing wage standards.