Old Wichita General Hospital Undergoing Demolition

The old Wichita General Hospital building has been empty since United Regional Health Care System built and moved most of the department from this building into Bridwell Tower.

Now, it's being demolished, which is moving some former employees to tears.

"Change is inevitable."

And Betty Dowdy should know.

Her career as a nurse started several decades ago, which included working in Wichita General Hospital, which has gone from this to this.

"I went over and took pictures and had a few tears cause you know, it was where I grew up. I was 20 years old when I started working as a nurse and I worked there for so many years," Dowdy says.

But now the hospital is being demolished.

In 2011, the Wichita City - County Hospital Board tried to sell the property.

But costly renovations to bring it up to state code forced the potential buyer to bail out.

So, a decision was made.

"The city/county board decided that rather than have another empty building in downtown wichita falls they decided that it would better to demolish the building and have it gone," says Rick Carpenter, vice president of facilities management at United Regional.

For several months, crews removed asbestos.

Now, crews are demolishing the interior before bringing the structure down.

And while it's an emotional time for Betty Dowdy and other employees who used to work here all understand that change is inevitable.

"The memories will always be there. The building will be gone but they can never take away our memories," says Dowdy.

When it comes to memories, United Regional offials plan to make bricks from the original Wichita General building available at a later date for any employee or member of the public who wants one.

As for the structure, it is expected to be gone by October but hospital officials say so far, they have no plans for the property.

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