Work continues on the future site of the Roy H. Laird Regional Medical Health Sciences Education Center, as work crews demolish the decades-old buildings of the original hospital structure on Henderson Boulevard.
Some buildings needed asbestos removal before demolition could continue. While many of the original hospital buildings will be demolished, some elements of the original building materials will be used in the new facility and plans are in place to incorporate original design elements into the structure.
This first community college health sciences facility will be unique, serving the patients of Kilgore and surrounding East Texas communities in an environment that utilizes clinical students from the nursing, assistant physiotherapy, occupational therapy assistant and medical imaging.
Christus Good Shepherd, the Roy H. Laird Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Town of Kilgore and Kilgore College are collaborating on the project.
The project includes new teaching and laboratory space for the college, as well as a potential expansion of Christus Good Shepherd’s footprint near the existing emergency center.
Construction of the center will be funded in part by a $2.5 million Economic Development Assistance grant, revenue from the center and funding from the hospital foundation. The original hospital building opened over 70 years ago and served the Kilgore area until 2007. Since then the campus has had a variety of tenants.
Mayor Roy H. Laird proposed Kilgore Memorial Hospital as a community hospital funded by donations and additional bonds in 1948. Laird and his wife Annie pledged $100,000, and the hospital was renamed in his honor after his death in 1951.