(UPDATED:) Hospital will begin razing 6 houses on State Street the week of May 21; no definitive answer yet on whether EMS station will stay or be moved

Press release from LaPorte Hospital

(EDITOR’S NOTE: WNLP readers have asked whether the relatively new LaPorte County EMS station, opened in 2015 at the corner of State and Tyler streets, will remain or be demolished/moved. WNLP asked hospital officials for a response to this question, and this is what was sent to WNLP on Thursday night, May 17: “A final determination about the EMS building has not been made, but LaPorte Hospital officials are in discussions with the county and working closely with them to ensure EMS is in an ideal location.”)

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LaPorte Hospital will break ground officially on the new hospital in August this year, but the community will start to see tangible evidence of property preparations when demolition of some hospital-owned structures begins next week.

The hospital has earmarked six homes it owns for demolition along State Street, between Teegarden and Tyler streets. The homes will be taken down to prepare land for staging and building of the new facility. The exact footprint of the new hospital has not been finalized, but officials expect to build and create space for construction staging in that general area west of the existing LaPorte Hospital. No other structures have been scheduled for removal at this time.

Pavey Excavating of LaPorte has been commissioned for the demolition work, with civil engineering work by RQAW of LaPorte.

“While we’re very excited to get shovels in the ground this summer, it’s encouraging to be moving forward with preparations at all the various levels of our new hospital build,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO of LaPorte Hospital. “We have been doing a lot of work on the internal side, planning the various departments inside the hospital with our architects, physicians and staff. We’re excited to see some hard-hat work happening outside as well.”

In a unique opportunity to assist the LaPorte Fire Department with training and skill development, the hospital will allow the fire department access to some of the homes for training before they are demolished.

“We work closely with Pavey Excavating, who is always very good about helping us gain access to structures marked for demolition so we can train on them. But we don’t often have access to residential homes. We will be able to practice ventilation techniques, communication, search and rescue skills, fire hose management, and evacuation techniques,” said Zach Kanney, Training Chief at the fire department. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to practice and hone the skills we need to respond and take good care of our community.” Burning is not part of the training, but fire officials use fog machines to create realistic smoke-like situations during their skill sessions.

After the practice sessions are complete and all the houses are removed, the area will be backfilled and leveled.

“As a professional, it means a lot to be a part of this important project in LaPorte, and it’s great to be able to use our skills to bring creative ideas and innovation to a project of this scale,” said Paul Vincent, office manager at RQAW in LaPorte.

Details about the community groundbreaking ceremony in August will be released on newlaportehospital.com, where the community can also find updates on the project. Updates will also be posted on Facebook  at LaPorte Hospital.

9 Responses to “(UPDATED:) Hospital will begin razing 6 houses on State Street the week of May 21; no definitive answer yet on whether EMS station will stay or be moved”

  1. Wonder

    May 17. 2018

    Will the new EMS base be demolished as well?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Gorgeous Jim

    May 18. 2018

    It would be a crying shame if the taxpayers that spent over a million dollars for the new EMS base station in 2015 would have to pay for another one in less than 3 years.

    Reply to this comment
  3. DoubleSpeak

    May 18. 2018

    Thank you, WNLP, for the follow up. The update from the hospital leads me to believe the relatively new EMS building, which I believe cost nearly one million, is as good as gone.

    Time will tell!

    Reply to this comment
    • Ron

      May 18. 2018

      Here is an opportunity for the La Porte Hospital to do some rumor and damage control. They can affirm early on that the new EMS station will remain, thus alleviating fears of demolition and a terrible loss of financial resources. Or, they can release plans early and affirm that a new facility will be built and it won’t cost the tax payers any money. They may even pay for the current facility and the money paid for this will be put back into the county’s pockets. We’ll wait and see. Either way, the public needs to know now so as to avoid creating suspicions about how things will be managed.

      Reply to this comment
      • Concerned

        May 18. 2018

        Ron makes a great point! Surely by now the hospital knows where the footprint of the new facility will be. If the EMS must go, be up front and say so.

        This makes me question their leadership and transparency. If they are unable to answer a known issue, what else will they hide?

        Reply to this comment
  4. SuzQuz

    May 18. 2018

    The spending (and saving) of taxpayer (or any other) money is something of which the La Porte planners seem to be ignorant.

    Tear down the brand new EMS building? Folly.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Richard Buzalski

    May 18. 2018

    Ron, I hate to break your bubble, but the citizens of LaPorte will pay for the bad decisions of our elected officials or The Laporte hospital administration . Please remember that most of the cost of building the currant Laporte Hospital was by donations from the local community. They took our goodwill donations from us and became a for profit corporation. You may not pay for the destruction in your taxes, but you will pay when services are needed

    Reply to this comment
    • Ron

      May 18. 2018

      I concur with you, Richard…and no issues with the ‘bubble’–I don’t often phrase things in the political realm in the best way–I make observations and ask questions. I agree that the rising costs of medical care have drastically increased over the years…that’s the business of ‘health care’ to charge you $800 for a liter of saline that costs only $8 to prepare. Or $5 for a band aid when you can get a box of 100 for that same price.
      The real issue now is to have an up-front announcement that says one way or the other about the status of the EMS station…but they may be thinking that to announce that it will come a-tumbling down will cause ill-will and lack of support for the future of the new building. At the same time, if they announce that it will remain, they may garner support. If the La Porte Hospital building project would tear down that building, I sure hope that the new building is even better than the one that exists now, and that the EMTs who work from that station are given plenty of opportunities to give input for design and construction.
      As for the ‘bad decisions’ of our public officials…that’s the business of politics, and I’m not in that business…but I do vote! When their terms of office are up, it is time to move them out!

      Reply to this comment

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