▶️ Former Prineville hospital purchased by local Christian school


The old Pioneer Memorial Hospital buildings sit on the side of Elm Street in Prineville. 

Right now, the insides reflect shadows of its past: Partitions hanging from the ceiling, signage on the walls, and sinks tucked away in every nook and cranny. The room where Les Schwab passed away is on the left-hand side of a long hallway. 

It was firmly one of the only municipal hospitals in the nation for 65 years until it shut down in 2015. 

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Since then, the buildings have acted as a temporary rehab facility and a food bank. But last year, it caught the eye of staff at High Desert Christian Academy when they found out their lease wouldn’t be renewed at their old space. 

“It was pretty much brought up to us the first day. People said ‘what about the hospital, what about the hospital?’” said Skip Hinton, the School Board President. 

After a lengthy process of building relationship with the former owner and moving their classrooms into three separate temporary locations, the school board voted yes on the purchase of the hospital. 

It’s a 92,000-square-foot, 13-acre space, with a plethora of purposes school staff has in mind. 

He and Principal Maggie Hale gave Central Oregon Daily News a tour of the space on Wednesday. 

“I remember coming to the emergency room a lot here and visiting patients here,” Hale said. 

After the proper permits are secured, new memories will be made in the hallways among their 150 students.

They hope the project will be completed in phases, with Phase 1 focused on renovating the east wing, re-painting, re-flooring, and knocking down walls to make larger classrooms. 

Phase Two will be focused on the same thing in the west wing, and Phase 3 will be constructing a gym and a track out in back. 

All of those renovations will come at a cost. 

“That’s our magic number- 6 million dollars!” Hale chuckled. She said that though the process will be a lot, she has “total faith in God that he’s going to take care of us.”

Hinton said the situation is exciting, given the possibilities for inter-generational enjoyment. 

“We’ll be able to have perhaps some of the kids and grandkids of individuals who were born here, and they’ll be running around in the hospital hallways,” he said. 

School staff will hold a fundraising auction on April 22 at the Carey Foster Hall by the fairgrounds, and they are also applying for grants. 

For those who want to make individual donations, you can call (541) 416-0114 or email warriors@hdchristianacademy.com


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