Demolition of former rehabilitation facility begins at Oregon State Hospital

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search

Posted: March 6, 2010 By: Alan Gustafson Source: Statesman Journal
Demolition work starts Friday on a 73-year-old building on the grounds of the Oregon State Hospital campus.
Demolition work started Friday on a 73-year-old building on the Oregon State Hospital campus. Portions of the former Salem Rehabilitation Facility, built in 1937, became rubble when heavy machinery ripped out chunks of wood, glass, brick and debris. Looming destruction of the entire building, at 2866 Center St. NE, will clear the way for construction of a new access road at the fast-changing psychiatric facility in central Salem. Planned extension of Park Avenue NE will funnel traffic into the hospital campus south of Center Street, where a new $280 million, 620-bed psychiatric complex is being built. Currently, Park Avenue's short spur south of Center Street is undeveloped and rarely used. State plans call for adding a traffic light and turn lane at the intersection of Center Street and Park Avenue. As envisioned, Park Avenue will be lengthened to extend along the east side of the hospital campus and connect to State Street further south. The new access road will be open to the public, but it's mainly designed to serve the psychiatric facility, according to state hospital replacement planners. "The public can use it, but it's going to have some significant speed limits on it," said Linda Hammond, the administrator of the hospital replacement project. "It won't be any more than 25 miles an hour." To limit pedestrian traffic in the hospital zone, the new street won't have sidewalks or a footpath, Hammond said. As an alternative, the state intends to pay for installing new sidewalks along nearby Illinois Avenue NE, in a neighborhood east of the hospital campus, officials said. The idea is to give area residents a safe walking route to Geer Community Park, via a pathway that doesn't involve the Park Avenue extension or the busy hospital campus. "We have placed that over on Illinois Avenue because that leads to a park area," said Jodie Jones, the deputy administrator of the hospital replacement project, explaining the state's reasoning for the planned sidewalks. "We felt that it was a much better access for folks to be walking through a neighborhood environment than it would be for them to be walking through a congested (hospital) area where trucks are going in and out, where we've got parking lots, where we have people being checked into the hospital." State planners are awaiting city permits for the state-funded street project. Work on the project is expected to start this year. The new state hospital is scheduled to partially open in the fall and become fully operational in 2011.Original Article