EXCLUSIVE: Inside look at old Cobb Hospital

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -  The fate of the old Cobb Hospital in Phenix City has been a topic of conversation lately, and now that plans are in place to move forward with its demolition, the city is concerned about the safety of the building.

It used to be a place for saving lives, now it's referred to as one of the most dangerous buildings in the city. The old Cobb Hospital has been sitting vacant for years and now that the city is moving forward with its purchase, they have to make sure it is safe and prepared for demolition.

"It certainly doesn't look like the hospital that was here before, with every hall and every room demolished on the inside," Phenix City Assistant Police Chief Bobby Casteel told News Leader Nine.

Vandals, homeless people and thieves have now taken over the once thriving hospital. Casteel took News Leader Nine on an exclusive tour and said, "This is where the electrical controls were. You can see all the damage done in here where they came in and got the copper out."

Assistant Chief Casteel says there are obvious dangers around every corner, "Even in the daytime its dark in here. There's elevator shafts open, there are wires exposed, there is no electricity in the building. You never know what you'll step in or what you'll step on."

But he adds, it's the hidden dangers that are most concerning, "There's installation and the mold that's here, certainly there's a health issue you're exposing yourself to when you come in here."

While the city waits for the official asbestos survey results to come back, Casteel urges everyone to fight their curiosity and obey the laws, "We have boarded up every entrance we can find, secured doors, screwed doors together to try to make it impossible to get into the building. Nothing is impossible, if they want in here bad enough, they're going to break something to get in. We just caution people not to come in, it's dangerous."

While the final plans are being put into place health officials are trying to check on the safety inside, while police work on keeping thieves out.

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