Angel Medical Center moved to its new facility earlier this month, officially opening their doors on September 18. With the transition to the new space, HCA Healthcare is now tasked with deciding the future of the former hospital building.
As part of the consideration for what or how the former hospital may be used, the town of Franklin secured a grant to conduct a feasibility study to weigh options for the former health facility.
The grant received from Dogwood Health Trust was in the amount of $267,500.
“Since there is consideration for the Town being the recipient of the old Angel Medical Center building, there needs to be an assessment completed to see what potential uses there are for the structure and what modifications may need to be done,” said Franklin Town Manager Aime Owens.
The initial engineering reviews is scheduled to begin in October 2022 and should conclude by December 31, 2022.
The study will examine the structural integrity of the building as well as potential uses as well as community needs.
According to Owens, the expected feasibility study outcomes are:
1. Examine and assess all major structural, mechanical, electrical, and engineering systems within the Angel Medical Center.
2. Identify any environmental concerns of the Angel Medical Center’s structures and property.
3. Evaluate the Angel Medical Center’s eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Complete a detailed property survey showing boundaries, elevations, all existing land improvements, and significant observations.
5. Conduct a property title search.
6. Commission architectural renderings of interior and exterior spaces. The renderings will include drawings and a site plan.
7. Identify capital funding sources.
“The goal of the study is to develop a plan for the best use for the property,” said Owens. “There has been consideration given to conversion to senior affordable housing.”
Macon County’s first hospital facility was opened in a small residence on Palmer Street and had four hospital beds. By 1925, Dr. Angel purchased what was known as the Rope Elias property and remodeled the residence of Dr. W.A. Rogers for $22,000 to serve as the county’s hospital until June 1926 when he successfully opened the first modern and permanent hospital west of Asheville, known at the time as Angel Brothers Hospital. The hospital was constructed at a cost of $25,000. The 30-bed facility was a marvel of its time and established Macon County as a healthcare hub for rural Western North Carolina
As the first permanent structure serving patients west of Asheville, Angel Brothers Hospital quickly expanded, and by 1927, Dr. Angel had commissioned the construction of an annex which afforded room for an additional 20 beds — making the hospital three stories high and complete with an operating room. By 1928, the facility had five doctors and 22 nurses.
The hospital was once again expanded in 1957 when the construction of a new outpatient wing was ordered at a cost of $300,000.
By 1977 Angel Community Hospital was touted as being a five and one-half million dollar structure with new modern features and a total of 60 beds. The 1977 focus of the hospital included the community’s then-dedication to the county’s mental health services, dedicating an entire floor of the hospital to care for mental health patients with 24 beds patient beds, treatment rooms, and office space for professionals serving mental health patients. This was known as the Amelia Bauer-Kahn Psychiatric Unit.
In 1991, a new two-story building was added to the back of the hospital to house the surgical suite and the intensive care unit. The front of the hospital was renovated in 1996 with a new addition to provide needed space for the business office, medical records, cafeteria, laboratory, and administration. In 1998, more space was added to the back of the hospital to accommodate the growing demand for outpatient medicine, same-day surgery, and surgical areas of the hospital. The emergency department moved into a new addition in the back of the hospital, and the radiology department was moved to the former emergency area that was renovated as part of the addition in 2002.
In May 2011, Mission Health Systems out of Asheville began a management agreement with Angel Medical Center. In April 2017, Mission Health announced plans to spend $45 million to replace Angel Medical Center with an entirely new healthcare facility.
Shortly after Mission Health’s announcement of a new hospital in Macon County, news also broke that Mission Health, and all affiliate hospitals including Angel Medical Center, would be bought out by healthcare giant, HCA Healthcare for $1.5 billion.
HCA Healthcare opened the new Angel Medical Center on September 18, 2022.