Plans Set for Razing Former Lakeland Memorial Hospital and Building Memorial Park

Leaders at Howard Young Medical Center have been working with members of the community over the past several months to determine a plan for the future of the former Lakeland Memorial Hospital building in Woodruff. The building was home to the first hospital in the community and was constructed in 1954.

After the establishment of Howard Young Medical Center in the late 1970s, the former hospital was home to the Dr. Kate Convalescent Center. In 2008 ownership of the Dr. Kate program was transferred to Avanti Health Systems that built a new facility along Highway 70 in Minocqua. Since that time the facility has not been used by the hospital.

Following much consideration and input from the community group, a decision was reached to create a memorial park to commemorate Lakeland Memorial Hospital and Dr. Kate as part of a plan to raze the structure. Laurie Oungst, Vice President of Operations at Howard Young Medical Center noted that, “While we respect the history of the facility and what it means to the community, the decision was based on a number of factors including the cost associated with upgrading and maintaining the 60,000 square foot building. Estimates for renovation ran in excess of $1 million while annual heating and cooling costs reached over $40 thousand. The hospital needs to prioritize financial resources in order to continue to meet the health care needs of the greater community.”

Initial work on the demolition will begin during the week of June 6 according to Burt Jennings, Plant Maintenance & Operations at Howard Young Medical Center. First steps including removal of equipment and other items from the facility and asbestos abatement. Actual demolition should start on or around July 1st. Rynder’s Design Build of Minocqua has been named to oversee the project.

“We anticipate that the entire project will take 60 to 90 days to complete,” stated Laurie Oungst, Vice President of Operations for the hospital. “Construction of the memorial park will be integrated into the overall project and cap the effort to recognize Dr. Kate and Lakeland Memorial Hospital. All work is anticipated to be complete this fall.”

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