By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Poarch Band of Creek Indians officials are still working on formulation of a definitive plan on what the tribe will do with the current Atmore Community Hospital building and the property, reportedly 10 acres, on which it sits.
The question of usage evolved from the recently announced land swap between PCI and the Escambia County Healthcare Authority. The deal provides ECHCA with land near Interstate 65 on which to build a new hospital and leaves the tribe with the old hospital building and surrounding acreage.
Rumors, including that the hospital will continue to exist as a medical facility or will be converted to greenspace, have been rampant, but tribal officials are not ready to announce their intent.
Sharon Delmar, public relations liaison for Poarch Creek Indians, indicated in a Tuesday, August 6, email that it was a little early to discuss long-term plans for a transaction that has just been proposed.
“The land trade agreement between Escambia County Healthcare Authority and the Tribe is in the early stages of negotiation,” Delmar said in response to an Atmore News query about the land deal. “We will share more details when appropriate.”
Some of the details not shared currently include the actual acreage of the current hospital property, whether the tribe would pay a portion of the hospital construction cost and whether PCI would assume possession of the new property when construction begins on the new medical center or only when the hospital is complete.