Avera razes ‘purposeless’ former hospital building to make way for green space – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — An old building on the campus of

Avera Queen of Peace Hospital

is to be razed after health system officials determine it is no longer of any use.

The building, constructed in the 1940s, is located on the southwest side of the hospital campus. According to Nathan Johnson, communications coordinator for

Avera Health.

An Asbestos sign hangs on the door of the old 1940s Avera Wellness Center building on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace campus.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

“(The building) dates back to the 1940s and as time passed we no longer needed it,” Johnson said. “There was deferred maintenance and it got to the point where it was time to make the decision to keep it or get rid of it.”

The full demolition process is expected to begin next week, but some preparatory work has already begun at the site, Johnson said. Vander Pol Dragline was contracted to perform the demolition.

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Demolition crews have begun demolishing the old 1940s Avera Wellness Center building located on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace campus.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

The site is planned to be converted into green space, Johnson said.

“In recent years, it hasn’t been used for much. Before that, it was a wellness center for employees. We were going to use it for the media as a place for them if we needed to put them somewhere on location due to an emergency,” Johnson said. “But we are going to turn it into a lawn. Green area.”

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The old 1940s Avera Wellness Center building on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace campus is being demolished Friday morning.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

The project will impact some parking lots near the building, as well as where people can walk, Johnson said. Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Operations will work with the contractor to make these changes clear to staff, patients and visitors.

Johnson said demolition work on the four-story building is expected to continue through March.

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Demolition crews have begun demolishing the old Avera Wellness Center building which dates back to the 1940s and is located on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

“Some parking lots and driveways will be affected, but we will have a fence around it,” Johnson said.

The Avera Queen of Peace Hospital campus has undergone many changes and improvements over the years. St. Joseph’s Hospital was established by the Presentation Sisters at the request of the municipal leaders of Mitchell in 1906. This hospital was built with a capacity of 35 beds.

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Demolition work is underway at the old 1940s Avera Wellness Center building located on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace campus.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

St. Joseph’s Hospital merged with Methodist Hospital in 1991 to create Queen of Peace Hospital. Queen of Peace underwent a $15 million expansion project in 1994. The expansion included a new emergency department, operating theaters, same-day service department, diagnostic imaging department, unit surgery, cardiopulmonary services and a laboratory.

Queen of Peace was acquired by Avera Health in 2000 and changed its name to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. The hospital also underwent a $6 million project that added two new floors to accommodate the new day services and maternity care center in 2006.

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Debris lies on the ground as demolition work takes place at the old Avera Wellness Center building on the west side of the Avera Queen of Peace campus.

Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

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