LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The old St. Elizabeth Nursing School and parts of the old hospital are coming down in 60 days. The Lafayette Board of Works upheld the waiting period for demolition Tuesday.
The City of Lafayette Historic Preservation Commission submitted a request to put the demolition process off for 60 days, and the board upheld it Tuesday.
At Tuesday's meeting, board members said unless a structure is dangerous, the request for a delay is typically upheld.
Franciscan officials who attended the meeting were not opposed to the decision to delay demolition.
The buildings have stood for more than 150 years. Recently, Franciscan requested demolition of the buildings that have recently sat unused and empty.
The demolition is just one part of a nearly $13 million investment in the central campus. Franciscan also plans to tear down the north and west wings of the central building on Hartford Street.
It's to make way for a four-story wing connecting the historic chapel and central wing. That will be used for administration and other hospital related departments.
As we previously reported, Franciscan spends nearly $1 million a year on upkeep for these structures.
Despite efforts to save the buildings, Vice President of Franciscan's Western Indiana Administrative Services, Sister Aline Shultz, said this is the best decision for everyone.
"It's not a decision that we've taken lightly," said Shultz. "We've considered many different options and we've entertained developers and no one seems to be able to get the job done."
Franciscan would be willing to walk interested developers through before demolition, but at this point she doesn't think there's much of a chance for Franciscan's corporate board to change its decision.
Demolition of these buildings is set for May 4.
Franciscan isn't totally forgetting about its history. Shultz said a healing garden is planned for the area. She said it will preserve certain historic features of the buildings.
Breaking: The Lafayette Board it Works has voted to uphold the 60 day waiting period on demolition of the old St. Elizabeth Hospital and nursing school buildings. Demo is set to begin on May 4th. @WLFI
— Samantha Thieke (@SamanthaThieke) March 5, 2019