The Wyoming Medical Center Foundation wants to replace the aging Masterson Place, the home-away-from home lodging for families and friends of patients at the Wyoming Medical Center and other area hospitals.

The former motel at 2325 E. Yellowstone Highway -- donated to the foundation in 2001 -- has become too expensive to maintain, and is more than a mile from the hospital, the Wyoming Medical Center's chief financial officer said Tuesday.

"The need for repairs to that building far exceeds the benefit of what we would put into it financially," Yvonne Wigington said.

A year ago, the foundation saw those problems and applied for a grant from the Natrona County Commission for a feasibility study about a new Masterson Place, and that study is done Wigington said.

As a result, the foundation has asked the Wyoming Medical Center to donate land it has -- deeded to Natrona County -- at Third and Washington streets for the new Masterson Place, she said.

There are two houses on the property: one for storage, and one for sleeping rooms and a common area for physicians, Wigington said. The hospital would find space elsewhere for the storage and physicians, she added.

While the current facility has 26 rooms, several of them are closed at any given time for repairs.

The new building probably would have 16 rooms, but it would be across the street from the hospital and a parking garage, Wigington said.

The Foundation would sell the existing property on East Yellowstone Highway to offset the cost of a new Masterson Place, she said.

Wigington outlined the proposal to the Memorial Hospital of Natrona County board of trustees at their monthly meeting. The board oversees the nonprofit Wyoming Medical Center Inc.'s lease of the county owned hospital assets, which are located mostly in the 1200 block of Second, Third and Fourth streets.

The board of trustees formally approved a resolution for the transfer of the property to the Foundation. The board has the responsibility to maintain the value of the county's hospital's assets. It also makes sure the Wyoming Medical Center offers care for indigent patients and prisoners at the jail as the rent, in effect, for the hospital assets.

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