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MCO aims to demolish ex-psychiatric hospital

Medical College of Ohio officials will accept bids for the demolition of the vacant psychiatric hospital in the southeast corner of MCO's Advanced Technology Park.

The facility, formally known as the New Receiving Hospital, was built in the late 1940s. Toledo Mental Health treated psychiatric patients there until the early 1980s, said Judith Burns, MCO director of real estate.

The 350,000-square-foot building has been vacant for more than 10 years, and MCO officials have been talking about tearing it down for some time, Ms. Burns said.

“We think it's a hindrance toward development of the tech park. It always comes up when we talk to potential clients,” she said.

MCO officials long have hoped to develop its 233-acre Technology Park, and the psychiatric hospital, which is near Detroit and Glendale avenues, is in a relatively prime area. There is little development in the area now, but public television station WGTE plans a $4.7 million studio near the abandoned hospital.

MCO officials are concerned the structure, in addition to holding up potential development, presents a liability risk because it's difficult to prevent people from entering the building.

Converting it to other uses has been considered, Ms. Burns said, but the walls are thick, which would make doing so difficult.

The MCO board of trustees approved a plan last night to accept demolition bids for the building. It's expected that the board could select a bid at its March meeting, and the building could be razed this summer, Ms. Burns said.

MCO acquired the building in the 1980s after the Ohio Department of Mental Health, which owned the land the hospital is on, defaulted on power bills to MCO and gave about 100 acres to MCO in exchange for payment.

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