Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wanona Hospital Site Still Not Secure

If it wasn't for the few places where the name "Wanona Memorial Hospital" is still visible/readable over on Meridian and 30th, you'd almost never figure it was a fully functional hospital until a few years ago.

The city purchased the site in 2008 and used it to train emergency service personnel, such as police. But in December of 2008, the site was deemed a health hazard due to asbestos.

Since then, the city has apparently forgotten it's even owned the land. It's covered with graffiti, litter, and whatever else you'd find when you just let a building go to pot. WRTV visited the site on July 14, 2009, after hearing complaints that homeless were using it. Surprisingly, they just walked right on in and had a look around. Many of the hospital beds were still in their rooms, and medical equipment was found still sealed in bags. But it was also very obvious that people have been using the building.

The city responded with "Wow, really? Our bad." and got a crew out there right away to board up the doors and broken windows, and the IMPD said they'd have officers patrol the area.

I visited the site earlier today and question if anything was actually done. Some of the doors have locks on them now, but none of the boarding seems like quality (or recent) work. There are tons of broken windows on the first story, or at least that are reachable. The only signs warning about towing or trespassing were probably there when the hospital was still up and running. In one of the delivery hallways, there was a crowbar stashed by a blanket, and looks like someone had been trying to break open a door. It probably doesn't need too much more of a push to get open.

Though I was only there for an hour, I can't imagine too many officers putting it in high concern.

Another interesting note, a few days before WRTV did this story, this was posted on a website dedicated to exploring abandoned buildings.

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