The word that kept coming up at the decommissioning ceremony for the was “bittersweet.”
The center is closing down after 50 years in Brecksville. The majority of the services have already moved to the renovated Wade Park facilities in Cleveland, and the remaining services, like outpatient care, will move to the new facility in Parma. Medical Center Director Susan Fuehrer said that should be open in February 2012.
Fuehrer told the small crowd gathered on Tuesday that she felt emotional about the closing, thanking the staff whose hard work has made the transition smooth. She also recognized the veterans in the audience, including two who had also attended the opening ceremony 50 years ago.
“Thank you for your service,” she told all of the veterans as they stood to applause.
Brecksville Mayor Jerry N. Hruby also spoke, noting how the community came to embrace the center. He added that it produced jobs and revenue for the city, and that it was unfortunate that it was now leaving, but that the patients deserve state-of-the-art care.
Hruby said that the site will be redeveloped, but they will never forget the center and the people who served the country and were then nursed back to health there. There are plans for a monument on the site.
Check Brecksville Patch on Thursday for a look at some of the differences between the renovated facility in Cleveland and the Brecksville campus.