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McAuley Hospital: 'The building will be demolished in a few weeks'

McAuley Hospital in its final days before being tore down, March 22, 2018. (SBG)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The old McAuley Hospital in Coos Bay is being torn down.

The hospital building is close to a hundred years old now, and though many know it as the McAuley, it began life under a different name.

"It was built in 1925 as the Wesley Methodist Hospital and it functioned as a hospital for nearly 50 years, but not always under that name," said Coos Bay City Manager Roger Craddock. "It was bought by the Sisters of Mercy at one point in time and they renamed it the McAuley Hospital."

The building served as one of two hospitals in the area for decades until Bay Area Hospital was built.

"I believe, in the '80s, it was renovated and became Ken Keyes College and it stayed that way for maybe a decade," Craddock said, "after that, the building's been vacant and sold numerous times"

The building has some great architectural features but couldn't be saved.

"NeighborWorks Umpqua most recently looked at it and did an extensive evaluation to see if they could turn it into apartments," Craddock explained, "but they found it was cost prohibitive to do that because of all the new structural requirements."

Now, the building will be demolished in a few weeks to make way for new housing for medical students training in the area .

"We bought McAuley Hospital to take it down in cooperation with the City to form a parking lot there and across the street build residential facility where the students will be able to be housed," explained Advanced Health CEO Phil Greenhill. "With living quarters available for them for the short time they're here, we're hopeful that many of them will choose to come back, practice medicine here, and make Coos Bay their home."

While it will soon fall victim to the wrecking ball, McAuley Hospital will be remembered by many for years to come.

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