Hickory Construction Co. continues work on the new health science building for Mitchell Community College at the site of the old Davis Hospital in Statesville.
A college spokesperson said workers are focused on placing footings and sewage, building the elevator shaft and constructing concrete walls. Work on the $12 million, 40,000-square-foot building began in October and is expected to finish this fall. The facility will house labs and classrooms for nursing, paramedic and other health science students and expand the number of students MCC can accept into its nursing program from 80 to 100.
The design will feature a modern façade with a two-story, glass-front atrium. Portions of the former Davis Hospital entrance have been preserved for use in the atrium, upholding the site’s history.
The cost of the building was funded in part by bonds voters authorized the county to buy in 2014.
Iredell County, the city of Statesville and Mitchell Community College agreed in March 2015 to buy the old hospital, on West End Avenue, from developer Fred Godley for $404,000. As part of the agreement, Godley was responsible for demolishing the buildings and clearing the land before transferring ownership.
But demolition was halted halfway through when the Environmental Protection Agency, responding to citizen complaints, discovered asbestos in the debris. Godley never finished tearing down the building and chose not to pay to clean up the debris.
Ultimately, the EPA in 2016 set up a superfund site to clean up the asbestos. Godley foreclosed on the property and Mitchell Community College purchased it and completed the demolition last year.
The EPA released an audit in September that questioned state leaders for letting debris from the half-demolished old Davis Hospital sit for more than seven months in 2015 and 2016. The EPA claims the delay could have exposed the public to cancer-causing asbestos fibers.