Sanford Springvale News

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Historic Woodbury Building Scheduled for Demolition

Woodbury Building

Woodbury Building

Photo: Lawrence Furbish

By Lawrence Furbish

Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) will begin demolishing the Woodbury Building at 27 June St., next to the hospital, on Feb. 23. According to SMHC, the building is “prohibitively expensive to maintain, no longer meets current building codes for clinical or administrative space and is not fit for refurbishment or expansion.” Demolition is expected to be complete by April 30.

The building has had several names over the years. It was built in 1928 around the same time as the hospital and operated for several years as Goodall Nursing School. The school graduated 26 nurses in four classes from 1931 to 1934. It was discontinued in 1935 when an oversupply of trained nurses made it unnecessary. From 1934 on, it housed nurses and hospital administrators. At that time, it was common for them to reside on the hospital grounds. Nurses worked 12-hour shifts and, apparently, the housing was homelike and included a tennis court outside and a shuffleboard court inside on the upper floor.

When the Marland Memorial Wing of the hospital was under construction during 1965-67, the building housed the hospital’s administrative offices. In 1967, after major renovations, it became known as the Goodall Hospital Annex and was used for physicians’ offices and the York County Child and Family Guidance Clinic. In 1986, the building was renamed the Woodbury Building in honor of Dorothy “Dot” Woodbury, a graduate in the first class of Goodall Nursing School and a long-time employee of the hospital. Dot deserves her own story and another article about her will be forthcoming, as will another story about the history of Sanford’s hospitals – yes, there has been more than one hospital in Sanford.

According to SMHC, the neighbors have been warned to expect increased noise, heavy equipment, dust and debris around the site during the work. Almost half of the building’s materials will be recycled and specific elements will be preserved to honor the legacy of Dorothy Woodbury. When asked if attempts had been made to find a company or organization that might be interested in saving the building, the response was that several possibilities were looked at, but it was determined none were feasible given the age and condition of the building.

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