The old Memorial Medical Center is expected to be demolished in early 2023

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CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial — also known as the old Memorial Medical Center — is slated for demolition in early 2023, officials said Wednesday.

Members of the Nueces County Commissioner’s Court received an update on the plan during Wednesday’s regular meeting

Although the outdoor space was recently used as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination center, the demolition is a nearly 10-year project.

Renovating the hospital, which was built in 1944, would require significant taxpayer funding, so it was decided to demolish the building, said Nueces County Hospital District General Manager Jonny Hipp.

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Osbert Blow said demolition plans are on schedule and he views the work being done as a promise kept, if bittersweet.

“It’s good progress, but sad,” he said. “The memorial has meant so much more to a lot of people since 1944. It was a hospital where I met people and they were born, they were cared for, giants walked through the halls of this building.”

Before this final demolition, there will be a dismantling.

“When we downgrade Memorial, we do so with the utmost respect because it meant so much to our community,” Blow said.

Generations of Corpus Christi residents were born at Memorial, and it also served as Corpus Christi’s main trauma center. This is where Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez was taken and later died after being shot by her fan club president in 1995.

Asbestos removal and demolition plans should begin Work should begin to remove asbestos and begin demolition plans, Hipp said.

The site will be converted to “green space”, which means that grass will be planted on the site.

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales and Commissioner John Marez both spoke about hopes for what will happen to this site beyond green space.

“There’s a vision that goes beyond green grass, and I know it’s coming,” Canales said. “And it’s time to start planning and preparing for that long-term goal. As a building or buildings crumble, a new vision arises and I think that will hopefully transform. , into a complex of health facilities that serves the community as a whole.”

Marez said while he didn’t agree with the decision to shut down Memorial at the time, he hopes that by continuing now there will be a fresh start.

“I think it’s a chance to look to the future,” he said. “Say we need and fill in the blank.”

Sr. Digital Content Producer Ana Tamez contributed to this story.

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