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Demo on Washburn

An excavator is parked outside of 705 Washburn Way where demolition is scheduled to begin this week.

An excavator parked outside a former nursing home and mental health facility at 705 Washburn Way will begin the work of tearing the structure down this week. The building has fallen into disrepair and become not only a fire hazard but a health hazard with an unstable roof, asbestos in the walls and lead paint.

Although the Klamath County Board of County Commissioners hasn’t come to a consensus about what to do with the county owned property once the structure is demolished, Commissioner Donnie Boyd said they wanted to get rid of the building due to its hazardous state.

Boyd said they decided to demolish the building when inspections showed it would cost more to fix it than the building was worth.

“We had engineers go out there and look at it and say it’s just not worth fixing it, in fact it’s going to cost more money to fix it than it’s worth. So we could replace it with a new structure cheaper,” Boyd said. “And so instead of having a big eyesore that could potentially be a fire hazard if some homeless person were to accidentally light it on fire, we’re tearing it down.”

The demolition of the 29,000-square-foot building is budgeted to cost $450,000.

Crews already abated the asbestos and hazardous materials inside the building and stripped it to the studs, Boyd said, which has been going on for the past two months.

The building was Washburn Manor nursing home but became a mental health facility when the county bought it.

The structure will be demolished, but the concrete slab will remain, Boyd said, since they haven’t decided what to do with the property yet.