LEWES, Del.- A building demolition is bringing in new progress at Beebe Healthcare.
On Monday, crews tore down an old medical office on Savannah Road and Fourth Street. The area will be converted into a green space as part of Beebe's multi-million dollar expansion.
"I think it allows us the opportunity to create a nicer expansion," says COO Rick Schaffner. "We are going to have some additional parking available as well because of that, and it really begins to propel our organization forward on this campus to continue the development of our tertiary health services that we provide here at Beebe Healthcare."
Schaffner notes that the green space is just one of multiple projects, including recently breaking ground at a Millville campus, adding a new lab at the Lewes facility, and an upcoming expansion in Rehoboth Beach. The Lewes work specifically has provided some unexpected economic benefits, with Lloyd's Market noting an uptick in customers from the construction sites.
"Some of the workers come down and get our half chicken platters or half chicken, two rolls," says Susan Fisher.
Other downtown construction projects have caused concern for local business owners like Tim Southerst, who owns the Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet stores on Front Street. But Southerst says despite the dust, it will all be worth it.
"Despite the reality that it's not as easy as it had been of course for customers to access this store and Lewes Gourmet next door, the reality is is that the longterm goal of making Lewes a more attractive, more enjoyable place, and actually a more effecient town too in terms of its infrastructure, makes it ultimately worthwhile," he says.
Southerst also expresses gratitude for the local community, who he says has really come out to support the store despite the construction zone.
Schaffner says the soon-to-be green space will benefit the community as well as Beebe patients and staff.
"It really allows, I think, a nice entrace way to where the town kind of meets the hospital campus," he says. "You won't just look at a building, you'll be looking up at our overall campus and I think it'll be a much more attractive entrance to our campus from the city."
Beebe says the downtown demolition will be completely wrapped up by the end of the third week in February.