By TRAVIS HANDY
The recently closed Pulaski Retirement Center building adjacent to Pulaski Health and Rehabilitation Center (PHR) has been scheduled for demolition in the near future. The facility has stood on the property since 1983 and served as an assisted living facility until it’s closing in mid-July 2012. Medical Facilities of America, Inc. (MFA) has confirmed as of Nov. 19 that early phases of demolition of the building will begin during the last week of November. MFA also operates PHR and does not anticipate any disruption of services during the demolition. A memo from PHR to the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification earlier this month indicates in order “to reduce traffic and ensure the well-being of patients and staff, construction traffic will be routed to a separate entrance” directly onto Lee Highway. PHR’s release said the demolition and landscaping of the newly vacant lot may take four to five weeks to complete, and that a notification letter “has been sent to patients, families and/or responsible parties of current residents of Pulaski Health and Rehabilitation Center.” They also stated facility staff will be available to meet with anyone who may have questions. According to Brad West, vice president of marketing and business development for MFA, “the facility cannot be cost-effectively renovated to meet current building code standards as a healthcare facility, subsequently safety concerns over leaving the building vacant led to the decision.” The retirement community closed over the summer, citing a decline in occupancy over several years as a reason.