Developers Say Aurora’s Old Copley Hospital site about 60 percent Cleaned Up

Interior Demolition of Old Copley Hospital. Various building material debris litters the floor in material specific areas. A bulldozer sits off center in frame.
A floor of the 1970 East Wing before it was gutted by Fox Valley Developers as part of the renovation process. (Fox Valley Developers)

By Steve Lord, The Beacon News

Cleanup of the old Copley Hospital site in Aurora has been slow, tedious work in cold and wet weather – a bit more difficult than members of the Fox Valley Developers LLC team first anticipated.

Yet group members are more bullish on the site’s future than ever, saying the growing interest in both the remediation effort and the eventual redevelopment is getting hotter.

“We get new interest every day,” said Mike Poulakidas, an Aurora attorney who is part of the Fox Valley Developers team. “People are saying, you guys are really taking on a project here.”

Fox Valley Developers officials said some 200,000 square feet of the total 341,000 square feet on the campus has been remediated already, or about 60 percent.

That means the company has demolished and gutted the space, taken out all the hazardous material – mainly asbestos – and taken it to a licensed disposal facility. Russ Woerman, another member of the Fox Valley Developers team, said all the asbestos is being removed, and none of it is being sealed.

He pointed to a mountain of debris outside the building, taken from inside. None of it is hazardous material. That means it can be recycled.

Poulakidas said in the remediated areas, a consultant hired by the company takes air samples daily, and reports them back to Fox Valley Developers weekly. The air in the remediated areas is clean, Poulakidas said.

“We’re taking down walls, finding material, taking it out, then we come back in and demo it again,” said Patrick Skarr, vice president of Culloton Strategies, who is handling information for Fox Valley Developers. “Optimistically, we will finish this phase by spring.”

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