After a late start in April, the Baldwin Area Medical Center has slowly but surely been deconstructed over the summer. For a while, not much progress could be seen from passersby driving on Highway 63. However, since the salvage process was completed the building appears to be making progress towards its final demolition.
“The building will be on the ground in short order,” says Western Wisconsin Health CEO Alison Page, “when the big backhoe shows up you know things are getting serious.” The dismantling of the 83 year old Baldwin landmark is something that has been carefully calculated to make sure that any reusable or recyclable materials can be salvaged. This makes the demolition take a bit longer, but is well worth it in the long run.
“In keeping with our organizational commitment to sustainability, we are dismantling the building in a very ecologically responsible manner,” says Page, “Building contents and materials are being given away or sold for reused, or recycled, as much as possible. This process takes a little longer.”
Of course, a common question that circles this demolition is, “what is going to happen with the land after all is said and done?” Fortunately, this has been an important consideration throughout the process and Page has plans in place for what comes next.
“Our goal is to have the land be used for something that will serve the community well,” she says, “We are open to selling the land. The appraised value is $285,000. But, we are also considering options for the development of the site, possibly for retirement housing.”
One thing that the Baldwin community was able to enjoy from the deconstruction of the original hospital was the opportunity to purchase bricks from the oldest section of the building. During Western Wisconsin Health’s open house held on June 5, Baldwin residents were able to see and take home those original bricks, but those who missed out still have a chance before they are all gone.
“There are a limited number of bricks from the original 1936 building available” says Page, “If you would love to have a brick, and did not get one at our open house, please call Rosa Magnus at 715-684-1596.” With such a long-time part of Baldwin coming down, it is no wonder that feelings are mixed when it comes to the Baldwin Area Medical Center demolition. Those who are glad to see it go, and those who are nostalgic of its demolition don’t have much longer to say their goodbyes.