Hospital lot ideas

Construction crews work in demolishing the old Memorial Hospital. The work is expected to be completed in February.

City officials have scheduled a town hall meeting for Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. in City Hall, on how to use the Old Memorial Hospital lot.

City Council members want neighbors of the 3.5-acre lot, in the 900 block of South Sycamore Street, to help decide whether the city should use the property for housing, a park, or another purpose.

Demolition work on the lot is scheduled to finish in February.

Mayor Steve Presley proposed the town hall hall meeting, where residents can toss out recommendations.

Councilwoman Dana Goolsby, who represents the Old Memorial Hospital district, told council members on Monday that neighborhood residents must have a say in how the land is used.

“I do not have a resolute plan, but the neighborhood should have input,” she said. “No one in the community is smarter than everyone together.”

Barbara Jordan, who lives close to the hospital, wants to see the property converted to a park.

Jordan said the surrounding neighborhood wants the lot turned into a park. If not a park, she said, definitely not “cracker-jack” homes that would decrease neighborhood housing values.

“I think it was wonderful they will ask for our input,” Jordan said. “It affects everyone in the neighborhood.”

The completion of demolition work has been pushed back again, said City Manager Michael Hornes.

“We were hoping for Jan. 31, but it rained a little,” he said. “It could roll into February.” Nothing could be built on the lot for several months after demolition.

When demolition work ends, it will take another few months to level the lot. The city plans to bring in dirt, and level it with Anderson County's equipment.