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Demolition starts on old Fort Payne Hospital

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - For decades, the old Fort Payne Hospital has been an eyesore in the community.

On Friday, the process of removing the building got its start.

A $450,000 grant from TARCOG was the driving force to help city leaders and former Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser.

“It is a health hazard; it was full of mold and asbestos the whole nine yards, and you can’t keep people out because there was homeless that slept in there,” said Chesser.

Councilmen, the mayor, and community members gathered out front of the hospital to watch construction crews knock the building down.

Anita Hairel was also in attendance. Her mother worked as a nurse at the hospital.

“She worked here until it moved to the new location and she retired In 2001 after 50 years. She and my dad met here, and he was in maintenance, and I have so many memories of this place,” said Hairel.

Hairel said her most memorable memory was the nurses.

“All the nurses then were dressed in white. They all had white hats, dresses, pants, and shoes,” said Anita Hairel.

Ronnie Hairel also stopped by. His mother also worked at the hospital and said all of his siblings were born there too.

“It means a lot to me, and it’s kind of heartbreaking, but it’s time for it to go, and it just has a lot of memories.

Mayor Brian Bain said the demolition should be finished by February. He said the city may send out a survey or hold a community meeting to discuss future options for the property.

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