Thanks to the generosity and thoughtfulness of Mary and Kirk Hayes, a new, enclosed, all-weather walkway will connect the Wallowa Memorial Hospital with the Winding Waters and Mountain View Medicine Clinics next door. The elegant, mostly transparent structure is weatherproof, which means no more scampering through snow in the winter, or slogging through rain in the spring.

“The Hayes bequeathed a very generous amount to the hospital general fund. We could have used it in many ways,” said hospital CEO and administrator Larry Davy. “But we want such gifts to be recognized, and create concrete things that are needed to be a lasting memorial. This walkway will really help people. It fits right in with the design of the two buildings, and it makes a very noticeable and appropriate memorial that will be part of the hospital and will be here a very long time.”

Wallowa Memorial Hospital building and maintaince staffers are constructing the walkway mostly from kit materials fabricated to the hospital’s design. Plant services specialist Pete Beaudoin is more or less in charge of the project. Maintenance mechanic Nathan Elliot is helping, with heater and boiler tech Dan Thompson and all-arounder Ivan Judd pitching in.

The walkway is scheduled for completion this summer, probably in late June or early July.

A few snafus have slowed its progress, Judd noted. Windows arrived and were just ¼ inch too wide to fit. Overhead lights and other essential features are yet to be installed. It’s a free-standing building of its own right.

Its junction with the hospital and clinic will be weather-sealed with rubber gaskets once everything else is complete and in place.

“It’s almost like a greenhouse,” Judd said. “We ought to be hanging baskets of plants where the ceilings are high. There’s noting like some greenery and flowers to make people feel better.”

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