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Audit recommends W.Va. replace Raleigh hospital

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia may be better off building a new public hospital in Raleigh County than repairing the existing building.

That's the conclusion Sunday from a legislative review of the Jackie Withrow Hospital.

The hospital is one of four state-run long-term care facilities. The audit presented to the Legislature estimates that the necessary repairs and upgrades would approach $27 million. That's more than the total cost of similarly overhauling its three sister facilities.

A new hospital, meanwhile, would cost $20 million. The report also said that operating the existing facility costs up to $2 million more annually when compared to the other hospitals.

Auditors showed lawmakers photos of corroded plumbing and crumbling walls and ceilings at the 1930s-era hospital. They also recommended better preventive maintenance for all state-run hospitals.


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