Old hospital teardown, taking longer than expected, now on track for fall completion
MRH spokesperson: ‘It’s an eyesore, and we know this’
The old hospital at Eighth Street and Russell Street is still going away — it’s just taking a bit longer to tear down than expected.
But it’s taking quite a bit longer to tear down than was previously expected, and many in the community are wondering when the old building, beset by crumbling exteriors, boarded-up windows, unkempt lawns and surrounded by chain-link fence, will finally be gone altogether.
The updated tentative completion date for the demolition is October 31, according to a release from Memorial Regional Health.
“Memorial Regional Health received notice on Friday, June 18, 2021, that it may now proceed forward with additional asbestos abatement required to complete the demolition of the old hospital property,” the release states.
Per the release, demolition, which will cost the hospital $1.85 million when it’s all done and paid for, was paused on April 7 when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment alerted MRH to concerns regarding asbestos found in drywall sampling. While the project was originally slated to end June 1, two months without significant progress had nearly elapsed when that date came.
“MRH is committed to leveling this property as soon as possible now that we can continue moving forward with work,” said MRH CEO Andy Daniels in the release. “We are sorry for the delay as we know that the building is an eyesore and troublesome in the neighborhood and community.”
In an email to the Craig Press, MRH chief operating officer and vice president Jennifer Riley elaborated, but used the same verbiage as Daniels.
“It’s an eyesore, and we know this,” Riley wrote. “We have been doing everything we can to get this taken down to the ground.”
Moffat County, Riley explained, is the title holder for the land, but the property is controlled and is the responsibility of MRH.
The delay came from some testing abnormalities, Riley said. Materials were incorrectly lumped together, essentially, and required further investigation and abatement, she said.
MRH, through the county, will retain the land after the building’s demolition is completed, Riley said, and will determine then whether to keep it or sell it — and what to do with it if kept.
“Right now, nothing has been decided,” Riley said.
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