Hospital demolition nearly complete

The transformation is striking – a hospital facility that once dominated half of a city block though falling into decay over the last 25 years is now a vast empty lot ready for a planned senior housing project thanks to the work of contractor Wyoming Demolition, Inc., of Sheridan.

The demolition of the former North Big Horn Hospital building began in late October and is soon to wrap up. Crew members were taking down the security fencing Monday and Tuesday.

A Wyoming Demolition Inc. shovel picks up building material Tuesday afternoon during final cleanup of the site of the former North Big Horn Hospital building on East 10th Street in Lovell.

“It’s almost done. We meet with them Wednesday afternoon for a construction meeting,” said Lovell Town Councilman Brian Dickson on Tuesday. He said Marchant Reclamation and owner Dennis Marchant will soon be hydro-seeding the now bare ground.

Dickson said he has been impressed with the work performed by Wyoming Demolition, especially with how the company has carefully separated materials for recycling or disposal.

“They have a thumb on their bucket and they started at the top and pulled the roof off,” Dickson said. “There was tin in the roof that held the membrane up. They would grab a chunk and separate the metal from it. As they went through they were very methodical. They separated the brick into one pile and obtained permits to take the brick to homeowners and landowners in the area who wanted to do reclamation on their property.

“At one point they had hauled over 100 tons of prepared scrap metal to a salvage metal company in Worland. That means at least 100 tons will be recycled, and that doesn’t include the tin in the roof and in the forms used when the floor was poured. They separated everything into appropriate piles and hauled some to the landfill and recycled what they could.”

Wyoming Recycling has been very easy to deal with from the Town of Lovell’s perspective, Dickson said, giving the example that when the crew’s installation of the security fence left a fire hydrant inside the fence when it needed to be left outside, it took just one phone call to remedy the situation – no questions asked.

“They’ve been in contact with us during every phase of it,” Dickson said. “They’re well within the time frame of the contract.”

He noted that there had been some discussion recently about whether to plant grass, as called for in the contract, but Wyoming Demolition and Marchant will use the same kind of grass used in highway right-of-ways, grass that is hardy and adapted to low moisture conditions.

“We’re hoping we have some interest from a developer to put up at least one house in the near future,” Dickson added.

By David Peck