Demolition of the former Mercy Medical Center on 12th Avenue in Nampa is underway.
The work began on Dec. 16 at the facility, which has been vacant since Saint Alphonsus opened its new Nampa medical center on Garrity Boulevard in July 2017.
For many years, the old Mercy Medical Center was the only hospital in Nampa. The original Mercy Hospital was founded in 1919 by the Sisters of Mercy. It moved to the 12th Avenue location in 1967 and became part of the Saint Alphonsus Health System in 2010.
“Since moving out, we have donated medical equipment to nonprofit organizations, schools and other medical facilities,” said Mark Snider, public relations and digital strategy coordinator for the Saint Alphonsus Health System. “Some of the equipment was reallocated to other Trinity Health (Saint Alphonsus) facilities.”
The contractor for removing the structure is Ideal Demolition Services of Emmett. Since November, the firm has been salvaging fixtures and building materials in the single-story portions of the facility as well as conducting environmental remediation. Copper, steel and all recyclable components will be sold, not sent to a landfill.
The single-story parts of the old hospital will be removed by early February. After that, Ideal will begin work on taking down the tower portion of the facility, with a projected completion date for the project in April. When all demolition activities are done, Saint Alphonsus plans to sell the property.
“We know that the now-vacant hospital building holds special memories for many,” said Lynda Clark, Nampa Community Hospital board chair, in June when the demolition of the facility was announced. “It was our hope that the former Mercy Medical Center could find a new life, but ultimately, no viable plan came forward.”
Saint Alphonsus searched for nearly two years for an organization or entity to donate or sell the building to, according to Snider.
“We explored options including low-income housing, education, government and other uses. Ultimately, organizations who had expressed interest or who we approached determined that the cost of retrofitting for other uses was prohibitive,” he said. “We are hoping that whomever buys the land builds a valuable community asset in place of the medical center.”
Before remediation and demolition activities began, Saint Alphonsus lent the facility out during the latter half of the summer and into fall. The vacant facility was used as a training site for the Nampa Police and Fire Departments. It was also used by the Idaho National Guard’s Civil Support Team and Weapons of Mass Destruction team in some joint training with the City of Nampa.