To sell or to preserve? That is the question Aiken City leaders, and the community are dealing with the future of the old Aiken Hospital.
“Once the building is demolished that’s it,” said a woman who wants the hospital preserved.
The old Aiken Hospital has been vacant since 2014. Now the building and the property are expected to be sold off.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, people interested in the future of the facility gave their opinions to county council members.
“We have a lot of treasures in our city and in our county that we have to preserve,” explained another person who wants the hospital preserved. “We have to keep them; not just for the but the future.”
“Quit costing the taxpayers money,” says one who wants the city to sell the building. “We elected y’all in office to protect our money, and to use our money wisely.”
After listening to the public’s opinion on saving or getting rid of the vacant hospital, Aiken leaders talked about the building’s future.
“We have to trust they are going to do good things here,” said council member L. Andrew Siders. “We have seen what they are talking about, and it can be a huge boom for this area.”
“There are people that will take the hospital, put it into a different kind of say; and keep the hospital as it is.” said council member Williar H. Hightower Jr.
Ultimately, the county council voted on the final reading of the ordinance, to authorize the county to sell the hospital and its property to WTC Investments LLC.
“I think it sends a clear message that Aiken is progressive, we are open for business,” explained another resident who wants the city to sell the building. “We are prepared to meet the needs of our citizens in the future going forward. It’s simply time to move on.”
Mayor Rick Osbon said the old Aiken Hospital could be turned into a convention center and hotel in his speech in the state of address.