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March 2, 2016

City and ThedaCare Announce Plans to Clear the Way for SMC Redevelopment

The City of Shawano and ThedaCare today announced new plans to clear the way for redevelopment of the ten acres now occupied by the old Shawano Medical Center.

Developers are interested in greenfield property  

The City of Shawano and ThedaCare today announced new plans to clear the way for redevelopment of the ten acres now occupied by the old Shawano Medical Center.

The City and ThedaCare earlier considered two proposals to reuse the existing facilities, and neither proposal materialized. Both parties agreed in 2013 to demolish the property if redevelopment was no longer an option.  

“ThedaCare and the City have been working hard to find a creative reuse for the building for three years,” said Dorothy Erdmann, CEO of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. “The building was well-maintained and well-loved, and served the community for over 80 years. Now, it has become apparent that it’s time to move on. We are taking steps to honor our commitment to the community to not allow the old building to languish and become a burden. ThedaCare will spend the money to take down the building, as we promised.”  

Developers continue to demonstrate interest in the property. Previous proposals from other developers included removing all or most of the buildings to make way for new development possibilities, including senior living and memory care, tax credit housing, market-rate apartments and a hotel.  

ThedaCare will apply for the required demolition permits at the local and state levels. That process likely will take about 45 days. Demolition would take another 45 to 60 days, with the goal of recycling 90 percent of the old building. Recycled materials include copper pipes and wires, interior wooden doors, windows, bricks, kitchen equipment and a myriad of other building items. On a similar recent project at the ThedaCare hospital in Wild Rose, 94 percent of the building materials were recycled.  

ThedaCare already has opened the old SMC facility to charities who selected items they thought useful, including desks, chairs and file cabinets. ThedaCare will invite charities in again prior to the demolition.  

ThedaCare and the City will make the combined ten-acre site available for development once the building is removed and the land is vacant.  

A City-led task force of local citizens and business leaders met for more than six months to consider redevelopment opportunities for the old hospital property. The task force recommendations included senior living options, residential apartments and/or condominiums and a Wolf River-themed boutique hotel and restaurant. The task force recommended taking the building down if needed, and both the City and ThedaCare agreed.  

ThedaCare moved to its new hospital, ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, in late September 2015. The five homes ThedaCare owns in the neighborhood have been up for sale since late last year. The proceeds of the home sales will be donated to the ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano Foundation. The homes are not included in the demolition plans.    

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose, as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties and the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.