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Old General Hospital Could Become Auditorium and Parking Lot

AA PORTADA JURISDICCIÖN Antiguo hospital y Jurisdicción Sanitaria1

AA PORTADA JURISDICCIÓN Fachada del viejo hospital1

By Jesús Aguado

The CIEXPO (Center of International Exhibitions), an unfinished project once proposed to be built on the road to Celaya that allegedly received 80 million pesos in investment, will now shelter the Jurisdicción Sanitaria II (the state administrative offices for health services.) For this project, the City Council approved 3.5 million pesos, plus 110,000 pesos more for the monthly rent of the place.

The current location of these state offices is in the old General Hospital on calle Relox. Once those offices are moved, the hospital grounds will be eyed for developing it into a four-level parking lot and an auditorium and a public plaza.

CIEXPO

The construction site of the expo center, which never met its target opening date of July 2015, is located at kilometer four on the road from San Miguel de Allende to Celaya (between the communities of Pantoja and Don Diego), next to the stream running from La Cantera to the Allende Dam. Its purpose (when proposed in February 2015) was to diversify cultural tourism by attracting business tourism to the area.

Architect Roberto Burillo told Atención at the time that the building was 80 percent constructed. The CIEXPO was to cover 2,200 square meters on two hectares of land, and the nine-meter high building was to offer space for the installation of 120 exhibition stalls of nine square meters each.

According to Burillo at the time, the center would have been versatile, providing a 4,000-person-capacity venue not only for exhibitions but also weddings and conferences. The center (it was said during the presentation of the project to the city) supposedly had a more than 80-million-peso investment, including 10 million from the local government and 25 million from the Mexican Institute for Enterprise. The rest was to come from the private sector. The project, with its own wastewater treatment plant, was to have respected the environment and reforested the area with native flora. Developers assured the city that once the center was opened, it would generate gross revenue for the tourism industry in San Miguel, including transportation businesses.

The opening of this center was to mark the reactivation of San Miguel del Lago, another stalled development that was to include homes and an18-hole golf course but was stopped in 1994 due to the economic crisis, with its land sold at federal auction. A new project has been presented to the current owners of that sold land, a project called Paisaje Habitable (Inhabitable Landscape), which would supposedly respect the environment now more than ever. Meanwhile, some are working to have the area appointed as a Natural Protected Area along with the Los Picachos Mountains and the Allende Dam, however…

The Site Nowadays

Atención San Miguel recently visited the CIEXPO site and found it abandoned. All that exists on site is the bare structure of the building, with no doors, windows, electricity, potable water, wastewater treatment plant, or bathrooms.

Getting to the CIEXPO is currently not easy. On the road to Celaya, before the fourth bridge, drivers must take a right and follow the paved path that will end close to a dam. There is no bridge to cross to the Center. The Center itself does not have proper parking spaces.

Therefore, on August 1, the city council, headed by interim Mayor Gonzalo González, authorized the investment of 3.5 million pesos for setting up the CIEXPO site for use by the state health offices for between two and four years. The rent will be 110,000 pesos a month.

Orozco told Atención that in 2015 the local government would contribute 10 million pesos toward the development of the site, but that never happened. For that reason, the council agreed to allocate 3.5 million pesos toward the site’s development. The 3.5 million will be used to construct a bridge and a wastewater treatment plant, as well as install electricity and provide other details needed to accommodate the site for use by the state health offices.

The works at CIEXPO should begin by the end of this month and be ready in three months. The request for proposals on Relox, as well as the executive project, will be published later this year.

Orozco said that the city council has donated land for the construction of new facilities for the Health Services Jurisdiction, when they vacate the CIEXPO site. The state investment in that project could be up to 50 million pesos.

What will happen with the Old General Hospital?

Meanwhile, the to-be-vacated building of the former General Hospital will remain empty for the time being, waiting for a company to come along with enough moneyto build a parking lot, an auditorium, and perhaps a public plaza.

On April 2017, governor Miguel Márquez Marquez cut the ribbon on new facilities for a Centro de Atención Integral de Servicios Esenciales en Salud (Center for Essential Health Services), known as CAISES, which now provides basic health services for more than 68,000 Sanmiguelenses in La Lejona. When asked why the state administrative offices for health services were not relocated to the new CAISES building, Mayor Gonzalo González said it was because the building did not have enough space for parking 150 vehicles that are the property of the administrative entity.

The state invested 31.8 million pesos into the new CAISES building, which has two stories featuring 10 doctors’ offices for preventive medicine, nutrition, stomatology, and other departments. During the opening, Márquez announced that six new doctors and nurses were added to the payroll in order to provide optimum service.

Then-Mayor Ricardo Villarreal García—on leave since he ran for and won election as a federal deputy—has requested Márquez to relocate the offices of the Health Services Jurisdiction, which are the only state offices in the Historic Center. He also asked Márquez to return the building to local administration since the local government owns it.

Governor Márquez said that if the city council agreed to donate a plot to build the new facilities, the offices would be relocated; and the council did donate a space. That year, Márquez also said that in the meantime the offices would be relocated at the old CAISES site; however, that never happened.

Ricardo Villarreal previously told Atención that the old hospital building could be turned into a parking lot “to solve the mobility problems in the city” and that it could also feature an auditorium and a public plaza “like the Jardín Principal.” The needed investment was 70 million pesos at that time, he said.

Recently, Secretary of the City Council Luis Manuel Orozco told Atención that there will be a request for proposals from the private sector to do the construction that currently the local administration is holding as an executive project. The space would be rented out by the local government for 30 years to whoever developed the site, and then ownership would revert to the city.

BOX

The Health Services Jurisdiction we refer to in this story is a state administrative entity based in San Miguel de Allende that provides services to nine municipalities of the northern region of Guanajuato state. It is part of the Secretariat of Public Health, administrating public health centers (CAISES) in the area. Guanajuato has a total of six Health Services Jurisdictions. The director is also a link between the state and local government, as well as between the government and the population.

 

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