In less than 36 hours, our Laurel Grove Hospital was completely demolished, leaving behind not just the debris for recycling, but also more than 45 years of memories.
My name is Bob Bosold, and I am the Project Director for Eden Medical Center. I’ve worked at Eden for 33 years, starting out as an engineer back in 1977. My career at Eden spans thousands of projects that define the buildings of Eden Medical Center. Early on I managed projects ranging from simple office designs and renovations to major expansions and development. Among them are the development of Baywood Court Retirement Community and the complete remodel of Laurel Grove Hospital back in 1990. More recently the renovation of the 6th floor Sutter East Bay Neuroscience Center and the Emergency Department.
Today, I manage projects on the hospital campus, including issues related to the new hospital construction. The demolition of Laurel Grove Hospital is perhaps one of the more bittersweet projects on campus. On the one hand, it symbolizes the progress of our new hospital. On the other, it means the end of a great facility that provided care for thousands of patients and was home to so many great employees. I was a patient at Laurel Grove following knee surgery five years ago, and the care I received was excellent. Yes, it was sad to see the old hospital go.
From a facilities perspective, the demolition of Laurel Grove was far more complex than the actual deconstruction photos show. Our last patient at Laurel Grove was discharged home in December 2009, and the final employee celebration was held December 30. From that moment on, our teams worked to identify and remove virtually every piece of equipment, furniture, fixture and countless other things people don’t even think about that support a hospital structure, such as boilers, propane and diesel fuel tanks, an emergency generator and air conditioning chiller.
Where Did It All Go?
While our patient care staff worked to transfer all patient records to Eden, our facilities team focused on assessing all of the equipment from the rooftop all the way down to the soil. We cleared out major rooms such as Radiology and the kitchen, and gathered the smallest of items found in desk drawers and cabinets. All equipment was identified and relocated according to areas of greatest need and value. In other words, some equipment was given new life where needed at Eden or San Leandro Hospital, or at another Sutter Health facility, or donated to another hospital or clinic in need. This by far was the most gratifying part of this project.
Some equipment was sold or stripped for parts for use where needed, but that represents a small percentage compared to what we were able to reuse or recycle. Although Laurel Grove looked small from the outside, it held a significant amount of furniture (hospital beds, tables, curtains, chairs), office equipment (desks, bookcases, filing cabinets) and supplies (wheelchairs, walkers, office supplies) and so much “stuff” in every room.
Fortunately, we found a home for almost everything. Our specialized LaserOptics equipment was donated to UC Berkeley Vision Sciences and their School of Ophthalmology. Physical and occupational therapy equipment, wheelchairs, walkers and related items were donated to Alameda County Medical Center and several other clinics. Much of our furniture, office supplies, cabinetry and kitchen equipment made its way to schools, clinics, local businesses and organizations including MedShare, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare through the redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. I would have to say that about 95 percent of the interior equipment was donated or used elsewhere. The rest was recycled along with the building (more on this later).
Once the abatement was complete and the connection between the hospital and adjacent medical office building was closed and remodeled and new walkways installed, the old hospital was torn down in less than two days. From the street, what is left looks like a big pile of rubble. But what is really happening behind the fence is amazing. Over the next two weeks, virtually every part of the building and site will be recycled: metals, woods, plastics, concrete, vegetation, landscape materials, all of it.
The metal is separated from the fiber by a large sorter on site. All the metal will be recycled, and the fiber material will be sent to Waste Management, where it will be used in composting and come back to life as, among other things, potting soil! Some of the material will find new life as colored bark that is used in gardens. And best of all, the concrete (including Laurel Grove’s foundation), will be ground up, set aside and later used as site fill on the new hospital site. Laurel Grove will live on.
Here is a quick look at how the materials are separated for recycling at the site:
By April 15, the Laurel Grove site will become a paved parking lot for the hundreds of contractors working on the project. Once the underground utilities are taken care of, the site will have new landscaping that will enhance the aesthetics of the neighborhood. The lot will remain parking for contractors throughout the entire building project, and will convert to employee parking in 2013.
A Time of Change
From my perspective, seeing the end of Laurel Grove Hospital comes with mixed emotions. Eden purchased Laurel Grove in 1986, and from that moment I was involved in expanding, remodeling and upgrading the entire facility. And so, many years later, I watched it come down. I feel a sense of pride in being involved in creating a good facility that provided care to so many people, and a sense of sadness in seeing it go. But I am also excited, knowing this is progress and we are making way for our new hospital.
One project ends, another begins. I spend a lot of time putting things up and making them work, and a lot of time taking them down and making them work as something else. That’s the nature of my work and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
I will write more on the recycling in my next post. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions.
By Andrew Flanigan, Senior Planner/Designer with Devenney Group
One of our other main goals is to design a high performance, sustainable and truly green medical center. In fact we’re going for LEED Certification, which is the recognized standard worldwide for measuring building sustainability.
Progress towards this goal has been made through the integrated team process, which ensures that we are working together to achieve our desired certification level and build the new hospital in the spirit of LEED. Extensive team meetings focus on introducing the core LEED team and determining which credits were available and applicable to our project. As we move forward, the appropriate team member is extensively researching each credit, and the challenges and benefits are being discussed and worked through.
Some of the exciting goals we have identified as necessary to act as a role model in sustainability are listed below:
- Producing an active education program to showcase these efforts to the visitors of the hospital, while also highlighting the importance of sustainability in their lives.
- Reducing construction waste dramatically by diverting the debris away from landfills through reuse and recycling.
- Reducing water usage throughout the hospital with low flow plumbing fixtures.
- Optimizing energy performance before the building is even built with the use of a virtual energy model.
- Protecting our occupants from toxic chemical emissions by using Low VOC materials and having an indoor air quality management plan to improve air quality before the occupants even enter the building.
- Using a green roof and other strategies to reduce heat island effect.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by commenting on this post. We’ll be glad to respond within a few days, and we look forward to your comments.
By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
On October 22, 2008, we invited the community—and particularly the neighbors—around Eden Medical Center to come to the hospital to learn about the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. We had representatives from the hospital, Devenney Group (the architectural team), Sutter Health, the social media team, and others available to meet our neighbors, hear their feedback and answer their questions. We’ll be posting video clips from the event in the next few days, so keep an eye on our Video Gallery and the featured video box in the right sidebar.
The good news was that the project was well-received, with high praise for the design and sensitivity to the community. We had great questions asked of us, and excellent comments for us to consider as we move ahead (regarding traffic patterns, noise abatement and other important concerns). While we had a very active and interested audience, we hope even more people in the community will join us at future events we plan to host in the coming year. Keep reading this blog, because we’ll announce upcoming community events here.
We realize that people are very busy, and going to the hospital isn’t something most people like to do even when they are healthy! So, we plan to take our presentation on the road, attending events and meetings to hear what folks have to say. We’ll post any future meeting dates and times in our News Room. And, of course, we will use this new blog site to reach a much wider audience, particularly those who live in our community who may not otherwise get involved.
There is a misperception that the people in Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward and beyond are not too familiar with social networks, blogs and all the new ways to communicate with each other over the Internet. I hope to change that perception by grabbing new readers and subscribers in our area and far beyond.
So, think of this site as our community meeting. Stay informed. Subscribe to this blog to get regular updates by email or RSS feed. Tell us what you think by commenting on individual posts. Together, we have a great opportunity to shape the future of our medical center.
I guess you could say I am about as home grown a design team member as can be, having lived in Castro Valley since 1959. My family moved here when I just four years old. My mother still lives right up Stanton, just a little past Eden Medical Center. My name is Randy DeValle, and I am the Landscape Architect for the new hospital project.
I remember riding my Sting Ray bicycle, complete with banana seat, past Eden Medical Center every Saturday morning, as my buddies and I would scrounge for pop bottles. We would turn them in for money. Then, off to Foster Freeze for a frosty, and Value World to buy fishing lures.
I attended Stanton Elementary School, A.B. Morris Junior High (yes, I still see Mr. Kerr, our principal, about town) and graduated from Castro Valley High in 1972. I was a proud Spartan, ran for the best coach in Castro Valley High history, Norm Guest, and was a member of the inaugural high school soccer team. I remember Fifi’s Toy Store, Sakamoto Hill, and getting chased off of King’s Hill.
After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Landscape Architecture, I spent a few years working in landscape construction. Then in January 1986, I put out my shingle right here in Castro Valley. My wife and I raised our two children in this valley. They too, graduated from CVHS, as Trojans (I’ll never get over that name change, ugh! Hail, Spartans).
Eden Medical Center has been a part of my family’s lives over the years. I have spent countless hours waiting in the emergency room talking to the night guard or watching that tiny TV in the corner. My wife (then girlfriend) introduced her mother to my mother for the first time up on the fourth floor when I was a patient there.
Eden has been present for so many of my years it will be somewhat strange not seeing the ol’ girl up on the hill…but I can say with all conviction, the new hospital is going to be beautiful. Devenney Group, the project architecture firm, has designed a remarkable building.
I am just thrilled to be a member of the design team. As the project landscape architect, it will be my responsibility to work with the project civil engineer and architect. I will be selecting all the plant varieties and designing the unique outdoor spaces.
These spaces will include a garden, with shade trees, servicing the hospital café. But it will be more than an eating area. There will be space to sit, read a book, and carry on a conversation. We are also planning another garden area adjacent to the parking garage and new medical office building, which will serve as a demonstration and contemplation garden.
Besides being a place of respite and serenity, the garden will host myriad plant species for the home gardener. We hope to develop a demonstration garden, emphasizing California natives, where a person can come and view some lovely specimens. The garden will be complete with seating areas, a shade structure and pathways. Also on the menu are roof gardens, water features and plenty of other greenery.
This is a LEED project. I will not reiterate the subtleties of LEED, but in its basic sense, plants must be akin to our climate, we must use water judiciously and wisely, use recycled materials and quite frankly, just use good old fashion horse sense. It is my hope to open portions of the landscape, which traditionally have just been functional. As much as possible, I want the landscape to also be a learning experience.
I truly believe, when the ribbon is cut, we locals will be amazed at the aesthetics, the attention to detail and overall, we’ll marvel at the new Sutter Health hospital up on the hill.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the landscape architecture, and feel free to leave a comment in the comment box. We welcome your input!