Photo Gallery 1 Images
It's going to cost about $3.5 million to tear down Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence.
The old hospital will likely be torn down because Florence's new hospital built by RegionalCare is almost complete.
For years, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital has been a staple in this community. Many residents who live near the hospital said they are sad to see it go but excited to see what could go in it's place.
"Conversations began a number of months ago with those officials about demolition of the facility, so it could be re-purposed," said Lauderdale County Commissioner, Brad Holmes.
Holmes said the county commission and city of Florence will pay $150,000 a year for 12 years to cover the cost of tearing down ECM, but it's actually not going to cost tax payers a dime.
"This isn't money that's coming out of your pocket or my pocket. This is money that is coming out of RegionalCare's pocket, but instead of paying it into the county or city coffers in terms of taxes, we're rebating that money for them, so they can have the money on hand to demolish that facility," said Holmes.
Once ECM is demolished, the land will be turned back over to the city. It will be up to the county and city on deciding what to do with the land.
"What goes into that facility will obviously be at the discretion with the city of Florence," said Holmes. "We want to make sure it's something appropriate for the neighborhood."
Emily Fisher, lives near the hospital and said she'd like to see a playground for kids go in or a dog park.
"We do have Diebert, McFarland and Veterans Parks, and you can take your dogs there. They are nice parks, but I think a dog park would be nice, so people could actually come and hangout with all their dogs," said Fisher. "Maybe some playgrounds for the kids in the neighborhood or just like a nice place with a pavilion area would be really cool too. "
Both the Lauderdale County Commission and Florence City Council members will be discussing ECM in their upcoming meetings. A timeline on demolition for ECM has not been determined.