A Salina man files a protest against a decision allowing the demolition of the buildings that once housed St. John’s Hospital.
Jim Ravenkamp tells KSAL News that he formally filed paperwork protesting the Salina Heritage Commission’s decision to allow the destruction of the property. After giving it much thought, he filed the paperwork on the last day of the protest period. He says that had he not filed it, demolition could have started.
Ravenkamp says that he believes that there are ways that the facility can be used. He says a committee should be formed to explore possible uses of the facilty. According to Ravenkamp “Salina has already destroyed too many old historical buildings”. He doesn’t want the same fate for this nearly 100 year old facility.
Back on December 4th, Salina’s Heritage Commission approved plans to demolish the St. John’s buildings, saying restoring them would be too costly.
Salina Regional Health Center owns the buildings on the St. John’s campus, which has been vacant since 2010.
Jack Hinnenkamp, of Salina Regional Health Center, said it would cost between $1 million and $2 million to demolish the seven-building campus. He said redeveloping the buildings would cost more but didn’t provide any estimates.
St. John’s was started in 1914 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia and operated by the Wichita-based Sisters of St. Joseph until 1995.
The issue will come before the Salina City Commission in the near future.