Former Paxton Community Hospital to be torn down in 2019

Former Paxton Community Hospital to be torn down in 2019

PAXTON — An old hospital building in Paxton that was once eyed for redevelopment as a community health clinic is slated to be torn down sometime next year.

The long-vacant 87-year-old building at 651 E. Pells St. was the site of the Paxton Community Hospital for 60 years prior to its closure in 1987. Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital bought the building in April 2011 and initially planned to renovate it for an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million, with the goal of opening a community health clinic there by 2013 that would create 43 jobs and provide a range of outpatient services.

However, those plans stalled within the next year, after Urbana-based Carle Foundation Hospital acquired all the primary-care facilities of Hoopeston Regional Health Center, including its 24-bed hospital in Hoopeston.

In 2012, the Paxton building became Carle-owned during the integration process, Carle spokesman Jamie Mullin said.

The chief executive officer of the Hoopeston hospital — which was renamed Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center — confirmed Monday that the two-story brick building north of Pells Park in Paxton will be razed.

"With the Paxton hospital building having been abandoned for years, it was severely damaged by rodent infestation and water, deeming it unsuitable for future use," said Harry Brockus, CEO of Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center. "It is scheduled for demolition sometime in 2019, though a specific date has not been identified."

According to Brockus, Carle intends to "rejuvenate the property to meet future community needs." As part of its plans, Carle intends to do something to memorialize the site for its historical significance to the Paxton community, Brockus said.

"We're open to community input on how to incorporate the historical site as the location of the original Paxton hospital," Brockus said.

Prior to the Hoopeston hospital buying the old Paxton hospital building for $50,000, the building had been owned by the Association of Independent Baptist Churches of Illinois. The property had a listed sale price of $179,000 just a year before it was sold.

Will Brumleve is editor of the Ford County Record, a News-Gazette Media community newspaper. For more, visit fordcountyrecord.com.

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Topics (2):Economy, Health Care
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