She’s one tough gal.
St. John’s Regional Medical Center stood up to winds of 200 mph-plus 15 months ago when a monstrous EF-5 tornado closed her doors forever.
Over the past month, the old girl has put up a fight against the wrecking ball. Blow after blow, she resolutely defied the takedown, finally crumbling when she could stand no more.
Now, only two bays are left.
Final demolition for the hospital is planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The demolition project started on March 1. The goal is to have the property cleared by Sept. 30. Sisters of Mercy Health System is constructing a new hospital — Mercy Hospital Joplin — at 50th Street and Hearnes Boulevard. It is to open in the summer of 2015. In the meantime, Mercy is operating a temporary hospital at 2817 St. John’s Blvd. on the medical center property.
On May 22, 2011, there were 189 people inside the hospital. Six of those lost their lives when the tornado hit. But because of the response of the doctors, the nurses, the staff and even the visitors there on the scene, many lives were saved because they were moved to safety.
The hospital building has been a mainstay and a physical presence in our community for some 40 years. We will miss it, but it’s time for the shell — a painful reminder of an awful day — to be gone.
Now’s the time to say your goodbyes.
She’s coming down.
She’s one tough gal.
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