New Plans for Old Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital

The Old St. Anthony's Hospital sat practically vacant for several years.

Now, its future lies in the hands of Borger oilman, Dennis Caldwell. He won the property at a public auction Tuesday morning.

"Well, I thought it was an opportunity that rarely comes," Caldwell said after signing the auction contract. "I thought it might go for a little more, but I feel good about it."

Caldwell will pay a total $330,000, which includes a 10% buyers premium added to his original bid. Some say this price tag is a steal.

"No, I could not believe it went for that price. I was expecting $1.5 million, at least, for the building and the land," said Sydney McDonald, who witnessed the sale. "To me it would be worth that."

According to BSA officials, the old hospital contains asbestos and will require major renovations. Caldwell says he will tackle the leaking roof first.

"Some of [the roof] needs to be replaced. I was gonna just patch it temporarily to stop the leaks and make values from there," he said.

For the dozens of people that witnessed the auction, the building holds a strong sentimental value.

"The building has so much history. And it has a place in the heart of the people of Amarillo," said Mary Barlow, spokeswoman for BSA. "I think that the investment that someone is willing to put into the building will pay off with this neighborhood and community, especially if it's put to great use."

Caldwell says he has no immediate plans but hinted at the possibility of turning it into a retirement community. Most people at the auction agreed with that.

"It's needing it, in this area over here. It's needing to be revived."

BSA currently operates a laundry service out of the building. A last minute change to the contract will allow them to stay a few months longer.