The Ghost of Old Main
Self Regional starts demolition
Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:00 AM
The ghosts of past triumphs and agonizing losses seemed to whistle through the once proud, now eviscerated hallways Wednesday. Yet, 60 years of tradition continued to fill the barren foyers as the squeak of rolling gurneys and beeping heart monitors still seemed to reverberate through the empty quarters.
Self Regional Medical Center, then called Self Memorial Hospital, in its infancy in the 1950s.
Changes continue to swirl at Self Regional Medical Center as the hospital moved into one of the final legs of a major overhaul last week.
Several patient service units recently relocated inside the Greenwood medical facility, making way for construction to begin on the hospital’s south tower, known as “Old Main.”
“We’re getting ready to take down Old Main, and in order to do demolition on Old Main we have to vacate all the floors,” Self Regional Director of Facilities Cathy Demmitt said during a tour of the medical center Wednesday morning.
The project is perhaps the biggest reconstruction effort in Self Regional’s 62-year history -- a nearly five-year, $50 million campaign that will ultimately see the top three floors of the original Self Memorial Hospital building razed. The six-story structure was built in November 1951 as an advanced 179-bed facility with the designation as the first air-conditioned hospital in the Southeast. Yet, over the years, it grew older and began to lag behind modern health codes.
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