It’s a slow and steady process, but demolition crews at Royal Jubilee Hospital have made a visible dent in three buildings.
“It’s something we have to do very, very carefully,” said Shannon Marshall, spokesperson for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
The South, East and Central Blocks were scheduled to come down as part of the plans for the new Patient Care Centre, which opened March 31, 2011.
To mitigate dust, pathogens and other hazardous materials getting into the air, the buildings are being demolished “almost brick by brick,” said Marshall.
Once the buildings are down, a new parking lot will be built on the site, to replace the one lost to the New Patient Centre. In total, there will be a net gain of 130 parking stalls.
The South and East Blocks were built in 1925 and the Central Block was built in 1940.
Some historic features of the old buildings will be preserved, such as decorative friezes and columns, wooden handrails, brass plaques, antique light fixtures and others.
The buildings were home to surgical patient care, long-term elderly care, heart and lung outpatients and cardiac outpatients. Last fall, the Richmond Pavilion and Royal Block were renovated to accommodate those patients.