Demolition begins on old hospital in Frisco
summit daily news
FRISCO – Amidst a flurry of falling snow, a group gathered to commemorate the original hospital building on School Road in Frisco. Demolition to tear down the building began Wednesday.
“It’s a piece of Summit County history that is now gone,” said Frisco Mayor BIll Pelham. “But it’s been replaced with a new modern facility with much greater capability. We are very fortunate to have had the support of St. Anthony here in Summit County.”
St. Anthony Summit Medical Center opened in 1978. The facility was licensed as a level IV trauma center and treated more than 10,000 patients annually. The new hospital on Peak One Drive opened on Dec. 7, 2005 and is designated as a level III trauma center.
Former and current employees stood with contractors Wednesday to hold a brief ceremony before demolition began. St. Anthony CEO Paul Chodkowski led the service, and thanked all involved. He said he worked at the School Road location briefly, and that the location paved the way for the level of care now provided at the Peak One facility.
“It was evident to me that this facility was a cornerstone of care here in Summit County,” he said. “We are most proud of the service, the care and the healing that was provided to our patients.”
Two former employees, Dr. Charles Lackey and Kathy Cuthbertson, RN, were both elected to operate backhoes and take the first digs at the building. The crowd cheered as the first pieces fell.
“I’m sad to see it go,” Cuthbertson said. “It was a great place to work, and we had a lot of fun.”
Longtime employees Carol Turrin and Amy Levy both said the team from the old hospital is still a family.
“It’s bittersweet,” Levy said.
Rob Sister, owner of RKR Excavating, said his daughter was born at the School Road location.
“It’s a little sentimental,” he said, “but it’s a good thing.”
Sister said the location will be redeveloped and provide future revenue for the town of Frisco. There’s no word yet on what kind of business might open there in the future.
Winter Contracting of Colorado was hired to assist with the demolition of the old building. Dwight Winter, owner of Winter Contracting, said he is working with RKR Excavating to recycle all of the building materials.
“We have been working with the Town of Frisco in an effort to salvage and recycle as much of the building components and equipment as possible. To date, over 25 tons of metal have been recycled with additional materials in the building’s shell that can be salvaged,” Winter said. “Additionally, items like the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical equipment will be sold or donated. Even the cabinets were salvaged and some will be donated to the 4H Club’s archery shed.”
The Dillon Fire Department was given the fire sprinkler system, the standpipes and the fire alarm system for use in their training facility, just down the hill from the hospital. Two battalions from the fire department used the existing facility to practice life saving techniques by cutting through the metal roof of the building.
Winter said work will be completed by the end of February.
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