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Materials from Jeannette hospital's demolition to help nonprofit

Monday, March 31, 2014, 11:59 p.m.

Volunteers will salvage building materials, fixtures and other reusable items from the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital before its demolition later this year, according to officials at Excela Health, the property owner.

About 20 United Parcel Service employees are volunteering their off-hours to help remove countertops and cabinets that will be resold by Shop Demo Depot in Mt. Pleasant, a subsidiary of Westmoreland Community Action.

The four-story building contains reusable items ranging from ceramic tile to cabinets to bathroom fixtures.

Coolers in the building will be donated to the Westmoreland County Food Bank, said Jen Miele, Excela's vice president of marketing and community relations.

Senior Vice President Ron Ott said reusing the materials will reduce landfill space while supporting Community Action.

“We are pleased to have such an outlet for items that still have value,” he said.

The work is part of a coordinated effort between Excela, UPS, Westmoreland Community Action and the United Way of Westmoreland County.

“This project is a perfect example of how businesses, nonprofits and communities can work together for the common good,” said Bobbi Watt Geer, president & CEO of United Way.

Tay Waltenbaugh, CEO of Community Action, said it's fitting that a facility that was built and financed by the public benefits residents in some way.

“The community helped to construct the hospital, and will continue to benefit from Excela Health's good stewardship as the ingredients that once were part of a patient care setting continue to improve the well-being of those we service,” he said.

Community Action, which operates welfare department programs in the county, opened Shop Demo Depot in 2012 at the site of the former Cook's Lumber. The store sells used building supplies including hardware, lumber, landscape materials, kitchen cabinets, windows, doors, fans, light and bathroom fixtures and floor tile. The materials come from building sites that are scheduled for demolition.

Normally, the material would be dumped in specially permitted landfills.

Miele said there is no timetable for the razing the structure.

Excela acquired the former hospital in 2008 and closed it three years later, transferring services to its newly opened Excela Square at Norwin facility in North Huntingdon.

The health system tried to market the property, but a potential developer backed off because of renovation costs.

Excela promised Jeannette officials it would raze the structure rather than allow it to deteriorate like the former Monsour Medical Center along Route 30, which the city has condemned as a public safety hazard.

Scavengers and vandals have ripped apart the interior of the Monsour facility, stripping copper pipes, metal in computers and other electronics, and windows and doors. Westmoreland County plans to acquire that property through a free and clear sale this year.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at



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