Scale models of the old Aramac and Alpha hospitals and associated buildings will be built and
made available for the local communities to access and view.
Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Chris Sullivan said the health service recognised the deep sense of connection and history the old health facilities brought to their communities.
“That’s why we decided to commission these models to memorialise the old hospitals once it became evident that preserving the old buildings was impossible due to numerous structural issues identified by extensive independent and engineering reports,’’ he said.
The old Aramac hospital was replaced by a new $4.1 million primary health centre in April 2018, while the old Alpha Hospital was replaced by a new $17.5 million multipurpose health service facility in June 2016.
“Although most of the old Alpha Hospital buildings were structurally beyond economical repair, we saved the former doctor’s house, which is now the Director of Nursing accommodation,’’ Mr Sullivan said.
“We were also able to donate the original outdoor skillion to the Alpha Community Jockey Club.
“At Aramac, and at the request of the community, a memorial pavilion was erected at the new Aramac PHC to commemorate former Matron Winifred Stamp.
“The health service also moved features of the old Aramac complex, including the Brolga sculpture and pavers, to the new site and features of the old Alpha complex, including the ‘Aphrodite Greek Goddess’ water fountain statue, to the new Alpha site.
“But we also promised both the Alpha and Aramac communities we would look at other ways of memorialising the old health facilities, which is what we are doing with the commissioning of scale models of each hospital.’’
Mr Sullivan said Central West Health had engaged architectural designer Momake Models to create diorama scale models of both the old Aramac and Alpha hospitals and buildings.
“Momake Models will use high-definition site images to create the scale models, which will then be made available for permanent display in each community,’’ he said.
“We are also working closely with Barcaldine Regional Council to identify safe and practical locations for each display once the models are completed in the coming months.
“While display details are still to be finalised for the Alpha model, we have agreed the completed Aramac model will be installed at the Aramac Library (Ollie Landers Community Library).
“We expect the Aramac model will be the first to be finished in October this year, followed by Alpha sometime after.’’
The Aramac and Alpha communities will be advised when the models are completed and placed on display and opening ceremonies arranged.
A series of professional and independent surveys and reports that were received last year, identified multiple defects in the old Aramac and Alpha hospital buildings, as well as the presence of very significant levels of asbestos and other hazardous materials.
The results of the reports were presented to community consultation sessions at Aramac and Alpha, which were attended by numerous stakeholders, including community members, advisory networks, and the Barcaldine Regional Council.
All options, including local government acquisition, repurposing, and moving were analysed and discussed during the community consultation sessions.
However, the financial costs to the health service and ongoing costs to the local community to retain and preserve the old hospital buildings were deemed too great and unsustainable.
Stakeholders attending the consultation sessions at both Aramac and Alpha supported the scheduling of the safe demolition of the old buildings and removal of associated hazardous materials.
Q-Build is managing the safe demolition of the old health facility buildings and removal of hazardous materials at both Alpha and Aramac on behalf of Queensland Health, with contractual discussions with sub-contractors currently being finalised to allow work to start.
In the interim, the buildings are being managed and maintained in line with Queensland Government safety and security regulations.