Des Moines Register: Iowa Methodist School of Nursing building set to implode


March 14, 2014

By Katherine Kling - Des Moine Register - March 13, 2014

The Iowa Methodist School of Nursing building will crumble to the ground Sunday morning, officials said.

The implosion will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday and last 18 seconds, said UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe. The cloud of dust will last about 20 to 30 minutes.

Located on the northeast side of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center campus, the former nursing school building stood for about 100 years. The last class of nurses graduated from the school in 1999.

After the school closed, the building was used mostly for office space, Varcoe said. The last people in the building were moved out by late October or early November.

Joey Mausser, a 6-year-old cancer patient at Blank Children's Hospital, will push the button to set off the implosion Sunday. His parents bid on the opportunity in November at the Festival of Trees and Lights Gala, Varcoe said.

Crews will start cleaning up the debris Sunday afternoon, and will likely finish a couple days after that. About 90 to 95 percent of the building's materials will be recycled and reused in the community, Varcoe said.

Alumni will also receive bricks from the building at a spring event.

The area occupied by the school building will likely remain green space for a while. However,UnityPoint Health does plan to expand its emergency services and critical care facilities where the school building stands, Varcoe said.

The Iowa Methodist School of Nursing building "needed to come down to make those plans go forward," Varcoe said.

During the implosion, people will still be able to walk into the Iowa Methodist Medical Center emergency room, but they will be diverted to different entrances.

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