Community Mercy Health Partners resumed demolition at its East High Street campus location this week, beginning with the former School of Nursing.
Demolition crews have been working on the campus since February, but are now beginning visible demolition, according to CMHP spokesperson Dave Lamb.
“I’m sure this is a relief for the general public who was wondering,” Lamb said. “The community has asked where we were with the construction. Work has been continuing, it’s just been behind the scenes.”
Crews have been slowed due to asbestos removal in the buildings, Lamb said.
“You don’t want to shortchange that,” Lamb said.
Lamb said he’s unsure when the hospital building will be torn down.
Demolition is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Hospital representatives had previously estimated demolition would be completed in June. The demolition is expected to cost $3 million.
Community Hospital closed in November of 2011 on the same day the new downtown hospital, Springfield Regional Medical Center, opened.
The North Limestone Campus, also known as the former Mercy Medical Center, is expected to begin asbestos remediation this fall. Lamb said there is no timetable for when demolition could begin at the other hospital location.
“It will be determined on the extent of the remediation of the asbestos,” Lamb said. “When we get in there, we’ll have a better idea about the timeline.”
At the July 9 city commission meeting, commissioner Dan Martin asked city staff to resume talks with CMHP about the redevelopment of the hospital sites.
Last October, the city expressed its interest in acquiring the site for future economic development purposes, if it were properly cleared and backfilled. The city doesn’t have a specific reuse identified for the 20-acre site.
“We certainly hope there can be a good next use that will benefit the city,” Lamb said.
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