Saying Goodbye to the Old Hospital
Posted on Jul 9, 2013
Demolishing the old hospital—a process called deconstruction because of the selective, targeted work involved and the recycling process—began as soon as we moved into the new hospital on December 1, 2012.
First, all of the medical and office equipment and furniture was removed–some of which was donated to medical clinics and organizations in the community. Then, the abatement team went to work. Eden’s ripe old age means that there was a certain amount of hazardous material that needed to be removed and properly disposed of before demolition and recycling of the old building can begin. The abatement process took about six weeks.
Although the building is now clean of these materials, an abatement specialist remains onsite everyday during the deconstruction, in case anything new is found. The demolition crew has also been specially trained to spot suspicious material.
Since the main road to the new hospital is just ten feet away from the old Eden, use of a wrecking ball or explosives just isn’t safe. Safety is our main priority throughout the entire replacement hospital project. Special safety precautions were provided by the contractor to ensure that the hospital is removed safely and efficiently.
The deconstruction began on May 17, 2013 when the canopy over the old patient drop-off area was demolished. Since then, the attached structures around the main tower have been torn down, including the old emergency room, laboratory, imaging center and conference center. These structures were additions that were built onto the original tower over the decades.
Deconstruction of the original, main tower is scheduled to begin July 10. A Caterpillar 5110 excavator with a super high-reach arm able to reach 185 feet (about twice the height of the old hospital)–will be used to begin “chomping” away the top floor of the hospital and will work its way to the ground floor. The process of deconstructing the tower will take approximately 30 days.
When the deconstruction is finally completed, 100 percent of the concrete from the building will be ground down and used to infill the bottom basement floor. So you could say, a little bit of Eden will remain forever! In addition, 100 percent of the metal and 95-98 percent of the rest of the infrastructure of the old building will be recycled or reused.
It’s a bittersweet time for our staff and community–many of whom have strong connections with the old Eden Hospital, which opened in 1954. In its 58 year history, about 80,000 babies were born at Eden!
For those who would like to witness this “end of an era,” we invite you to do so safely from the new healing garden next to the parking garage entrance. Due to traffic hazards and water mist, please do not stand near the fencing around the old hospital.
Once the old hospital is gone the entire hillside will be graded to improve parking, and add landscape and new walking paths.