Demolition of Vacant SMC Yields Useful Fixtures for City, Charities
Thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture and building materials from the vacant Shawano Medical Center are being repurposed in the community, said John Gijsen, director of facilities management system locations for ThedaCare. Demolition of the old riverside hospital began on April 4, prior to which Gijsen contacted several Shawano-area governmental units and charities to invite them to remove and re-use furniture and fixtures.
Lieutenant Mike Musolff of the Shawano Police said his department received from the former radiology department a drying cabinet and six mobile file units with floor-mounted tracks. The drying cabinet will be used for evidence that must be dried before it is stored. “We’ll use both units in our evidence storage room to help alleviate our space constraints and stay organized,” Musolff said. “As a small police department, it would have been very difficult to afford this equipment on our own.”
Shawano Parks and Recreation director Matt Hendricks estimates that his department received $15,000 to $18,000 worth of landscaping plants and fixtures from the old hospital. Five mature shade trees were already removed and planted in Smalley Park. Sinks, urinals, toilets, ADA grab bars, towel dispensers, and baby changing stations will be used to remodel older park shelters next winter. Exterior pedestal lights will illuminate trails and parks. Ceiling tiles are slated for use in the remodel of the city recreation center.
“We were even given about 400 landscape pavers that we’ll turn around and use to rebuild the beach at Smalley Park, directly adjacent to the old hospital site. They will help us define the beach area and contain the sand,” Hendricks said. “All of these materials are gifts to the people of Shawano because they don’t have to be paid for by taxpayers.”
A number of non-profits also reclaimed building materials. According to Jerry Roloff, volunteer store manager for Wolf River Habitat for Humanity ReStore, volunteers hauled away four truckloads of work stations, cabinetry, bookshelves, ceiling tiles, and millwork to sell in their retail outlet. Wendy Crawford of Leadership Shawano County had volunteers remove ceiling tiles, carpeting, mirrors, file cabinets and coat racks for use in the forthcoming Corporate Closet, a source of professional clothing for Shawano-area job seekers who need interview clothes. Her community volunteers are in the process of remodeling space adjacent to the Sellman Center near the Shawano Job Center.
Additional donations were made to the Shawano homeless shelter, Shawano County Sheriff’s Department and a number of churches and schools. At the time the demolition was announced, ThedaCare leaders said they intended to recycle 90 percent of the building, including copper pipes and wires, interior wooden doors, windows, bricks, kitchen equipment, and other building items. “Repurposing materials is part of what we mean by recycling. It has been such a good feeling to see so many valuable parts of the old hospital carried forth for new uses in the community,” said Gijsen.
The new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano opened in September 2015 at 100 County Road B, at which time the 10-acre Shawano Medical Center riverside campus was shuttered. The Shawano Common Council approved the ThedaCare plan in March to demolish the old structure at ThedaCare’s expense after multiple redevelopment efforts for the existing building fell through. Statewide Razing of Combined Locks is doing the demolition.
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 7,000 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. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving 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 www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter