WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was in Trumbull County Wednesday morning to announce funding to help demolish the former St. Joe’s Hospital in Warren.
The push to demolish the building from neighborhood activists and city leaders has spanned more than 20 years. But now — thanks to funding from the state — city leaders say the dilapidated structure will come down.
“I gotta lot broken bones fixed at this hospital,” said Larry Larson, Northwest Neighborhood Association President and former councilman.
Looking at the shell of the nearly century-old building that was once a focal point Larson is happy this eyesore will soon come down.
“It’s like a grand old lady that did so much for the neighborhood but now it needs a proper burial,” said Larson.
In its prime, the building held a lot of good memories. Many babies were born here and lives were saved but looking at it now there are barely any windows left, and it is covered with graffiti.
“Today we’re gathered here to perform a new kind of surgery reconstructive surgery if you will,” said Mayor Doug Franklin.
DeWine talked about how the $3.4 million awarded to the county land bank from the new Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program will help get the job done and rid the Warren of this public health and safety hazard.
“Many of these Brownfield sites can be used for economic development but you gotta clean them up first. You can’t wait. No company is going to want to wait two years to clean a place like this up,” said DeWine.
The city received funding to help with asbestos remediation last year. This new grant will cover more than half of the estimated cost of demolition.
Mayor Franklin said they anticipate awarding a contract within the next month or so with hopes of beginning the project sometime in June.
“It really is a dream after all of this nightmare just to be able to make good on that promise to get this down for the neighborhood for the residents that have had to live next to this for years,” said Deputy Director Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership Lisa Ramsey.
The building closed back in 1995.