April 28, 2023 | 3 Minute Read
Memorial Health Slated to Purchase Mills Center

At its regular monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees at Memorial Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Union County and the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County (MHRBUC) to purchase what has long been known as The Mills Center at 715 S. Plum Street in Marysville for $1.39 million.

Though located on the Memorial Hospital campus and even physically attached to the hospital complex, the hospital has never technically owned the facility. For 43 years, the Mental Health and Recovery Board has operated outpatient mental health care services from this space, the last 10 years in partnership with Maryhaven.

In 2020, the MHRBUC initiated discussions with the Union County Commissioners to outline a plan to make significant renovation investments in the facility. As a county hospital, the Commissioners are familiar with Memorial’s land-locked nature of the hospital and its sustained growth over the last 15 years. And with continued growth of the region expected, Memorial will keep growing to keep pace with service demands and that means space on the 31-acre campus on the south side of town is a premium.

“We appreciate the Commissioners bringing us in on the conversation to look at the big picture,” comments Spence Fisher, Executive Vice President at Memorial Health. “We have a facilities master plan that takes us out many years and the southernmost part of our campus is in that plan. Eventually, we expect that we will need an additional medical office building and that area is the likely location.”

Upon purchase of the building, Memorial will lease to the MHRBUC the space they currently occupy for up to six years at a cost of $100 per year. The agreement also calls for an even split between Memorial Hospital and MHRBUC for maintenance and repair expenses with the hospital’s outlay not to exceed $200,000.

This gives MHRBUC time to plan for a future location, including the possibility of joining other healthcare providers in that tentatively planned medical office building. Should the building be developed, the MOU provides for space in the eventual building dedicated to the MHRBUC, with the hospital funding up to $300,000 of the MHRBUC’s share of the cost of the new construction.

“Ultimately, we have a win:win:win in this arrangement,” provides Fisher. “The County Commissioners are able to remove an aged asset off of their balance sheet. The MHRBUC has the option of continuing in their space for another six years and the opportunity to move behavioral health services into new space in our medical office building on campus when that project is undertaken. And Memorial maintains its good neighbor in MHRBUC and Maryhaven, along with the valuable services they provide to our community, while maintaining the ability to expand our facility over time.”

Pending the completion of due diligence efforts, the transfer is expected to close sometime in May.