The destruction of 10 buildings at the former site of Brainerd State Hospital began this week, a milestone event at a location that once housed 1,500 patients.
Brainerd State Hospital, which opened in 1958, employed many state employees until a change in mental health treatment philosophy resulted in a dramatic reduction in patient numbers from the early 1960s until 1979.
Alan Van Buskirk, physical plant operations manager for State Operated Services, said buildings scheduled for demolition in this phase of the project were Buildings 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 19, 4 and 37. This part of the project, which also includes the demolition of tunnels, is expected to be completed by the end of June.
In addition, bids are expected to be received by Jan. 17 for the demolition of Buildings 1 and 2. Building 2 was the powerhouse/laundry/dietary building. Building 1 was the administration building. Completion of this project is expected by the late summer of 2012.
Landwehr Construction Inc., of the St. Cloud area is performing the demolition.
No demolition plans have been announced for Buildings 20, 21 and 22. Building 20 houses MnCARE employees who process applications. Building 21 is a 16-bed facility for the mentally ill. Building 22 is used for state-run chemical dependency program that specializes in treating patients by incorporating aspects of native American culture in its programs.
The former state hospital was located at the intersection of Highways 18 and 25,
MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or email@example.com.