St. Clair County Hospital

The former St. Clair County Hospital is set to be demolished this week using long-arm excavators. Photo by U. Glidewell

Demolition to the former St. Clair County Hospital is set to begin this week, after months of abatement for asbestos and hazardous materials have been completed.

The abatement did face some setbacks, with the discovery of approximately 500 square feet of fireproofing material in the sub-basement, which was previously underwater. The additional materials were found after the water was pumped out.

Virginia Wrecking is conducting the abatement and demolition to the site after their bid was approved by The Pell City City Council and St. Clair County Commission in May of this year.

Seven bids were received, all coming in less than the initial $750,000 budget. The low bid by Virginia Wrecking in the amount of $574,143 was unanimously accepted.

At the regular Pell City City Council meeting Monday night, Virginia Wrecking submitted a change order for an additional $50,940.80, which reflects the overages in removing tile and mastic, which were concealed beneath multiple layers of other flooring and in fireproofing. With the additional overages, the adjusted total will be $625,083.80, which according to City Manager Brian Muenger is still well within the established budget.

The Change Order, as well as a payment of $265,356.72 for work done to date, was approved for payment by the city council.

Once approved and permitting was place, the contracted group had 90 days to begin the demolition and abatement of the property, including debris removal. The abatement, quantities of materials removed, and general workmanship of the contractor, is being overseen by Environmental, Inc. on behalf of the city. Environmental, Inc. reviewed the quantities of debris removed and agreed with the amount.

With the abatement of hazardous materials, the physical demolition of the old hospital is tentatively scheduled for later this week. Because of the condition of the facility, demolition will be completed using long-arm excavators.

The city and county share ownership of the facility and the 19 acres surrounding the old hospital. They equally split the cost of demolition.

The building has been vacant for the past eight years, after construction of the new St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital was completed.

The old hospital location is seen as a prime commercial location next to McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership. Last year, the Pell City Council and St. Clair County Commission approved an option agreement with Bill Ellison, Southside Land Venture LLC, who is marketing the property to potential developers. Ellison has an additional two years to find a purchaser, or has the option to purchase the property for $4 million. Ellison has recruited major retailers to Pell City previously, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Publix.

Currently, there are no official offers for the property.

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