The demolition process for the Kober-Cogan Building began Monday with the installation of a fenced perimeter around the building and parts of the adjacent parking lot as the first stage of construction for the new MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s medical and surgical pavilion.
The installation of the fence Monday is the first phase of the removal of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, from Kober-Cogan in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
Kober-Cogan, located between the Leavey Center and the MedStar parking lot, was closed indefinitely in May 2010 after the discovery of mold in the building. The university relocated its occupants to the main medical center and shut off all ventilating systems in the building.
Kober-Cogan housed the psychiatry department and served as a part of the hospital.
The removal of hazardous materials is anticipated to last until June, according to a report released by Georgetown University Planning and Facilities Management in May 2017.
Construction is planned to occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the week, with limited noise from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends in observation of campuswide quiet hours.
Work on the pavilion and a new road across from the French Embassy on Reservoir Road is also set to commence in spring 2018. Plans for a new road were approved in June 2016 as part of the 2017-36 Campus Plan.
In accordance with Washington, D.C. zoning regulations, all universities in the District must submit campus plan agreements that outline student and campus growth to the zoning commission every 10 years.
The decision to raze Kober-Cogan rather than renovate it came in part due to the challenges posed by limited existing infrastructure, according to the Master Planning website of Georgetown University Planning and Facilities Management.
The new facilities were developed to tackle the problems experienced by the current MedStar complex, which has not had a large-scale renovation in decades. Issues that MedStar faces range from limited capacity and overcrowded emergency rooms to aging infrastructure.
MedStar President Michael Sachtleben told The Hoya in November that the hospital needs improved facilities.
“We are in aged facilities,” Sachtleben said. “In fact, in the main building, where my office is and where we still care for patients today, was dedicated by Harry Truman.”