Don’t be surprised to see workers in white suits as abatement and demolition work begins on the Branson Inn at Highways 65 and 248. Mercy is bringing down the five existing buildings to make way for the new Mercy Clinic – Branson, which will include services such as urgent care, pharmacy, imaging and surgery.
Demolition of the old motel complex will take some time, as preliminary assessments found asbestos throughout the facility. That will require careful removal of certain items prior to demolition of the buildings and particular care as crews tear it down. “Workers will be outfitted in full body suits and respirators to protect their health,” explained Gene Douglas, project manager for Mercy Planning, Design and Construction. “You’ll also see us taking extra precautions to safeguard the community, like covering buildings at times with plastic.”
Due to the stringent Environmental Protection Agency standards involved with bringing down the buildings containing asbestos, demolition on the Branson Inn likely won’t wrap up until early fall. Groundbreaking is tentatively set for summer of 2014. “We are eager to get started with construction,” said Dr. Robert W. Steele, president of Mercy Hospital Springfield. “We know our patients in Branson are looking forward to catching their specialists at the local Mercy facility and even having outpatient surgery, rather than traveling to Springfield for those visits. We’re so excited to be bringing the care to them.”
Plans for the new Mercy Clinic – Branson call for a two-story, 62,000 square foot building. About 15 Mercy specialists have already committed to expanding their outreach in Branson once the new facility opens, and in the meantime, some specialists will start offering services in the near future at the current Mercy Clinic on Highway 248.