Hospital walls come tumbling down

U.M.W.A. Hospital in March of 2011.
U.M.W.A. Hospital in March of 2011.

WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - After years of legal wrangling the old U.M.W.A. Hospital is finally being demolished.

City leaders in West Frankfort signed an agreement with the National Acquisition and Redevelopment Company this past Spring to demolish the old hospital.

And the company was supposed to have the project completed by November 15, but the mayor says there were some delays.

"They had to get their asbestos inspectors certified here in Illinois, and remove some asbestos," said Mayor Tom Jordan. "And they had some equipment that was in need of some repairs, so it kind of pushed things back. I received a phone call from the company on Thursday, and they said they'd  be here that evening. And on Friday morning they began taking the hospital down."

Just three days into the demolition and the walls are coming down quickly. Just a few walls on the north side of the building remained standing.

"It's bittersweet because the citizens of this community would like to have a hospital,"said Mayor Jordan. "And we don't, there's nothing we can do about that. But we did have was a derelict building that was an eyesore, a hazard and safety issue. And now that's being removed."

There were several people driving by and taking pictures of the old hospital walls coming down.

"It's a pretty good deal. It's been an eyesore a long time with kids breaking out the windows," said Masone McCord of West Frankfort. "I'm happy to see it coming down."

No word yet from the company as to what they plan on doing with the property once they finish with the demolition and removal of the old hospital.

"It's owned by NARC, and it's their property," said Mayor Jordan. "And we'll help them anyway we can as far as putting it out there to let people know it is available for development."

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