See what could be in store for former St. Mary Hospital site

Published 12:32 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

While the building is no longer there, the land that once housed St. Mary Hospital could be back in the business of helping others after being tapped as a potential location for the city’s new animal shelter.

Pamela Langford, assistant city manager for Port Arthur, this week said the 15-acre plot is undergoing a feasibility study to see if it is a suitable location.

The shelter was previously set to be built at a former wastewater treatment facility demolished in 2014. However, a needs assessment study last year revealed approximately four 10-feet concrete walls buried under two feet of dirt.

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When the water treatment plant was demolished, all hazardous materials were removed and a soil test was done to ensure there were no toxic chemicals on site. But through the needs assessment process, an architecture firm found buried concrete that could make it impossible to build the shelter at the chosen location.

City staff will be meeting today with a consultant to discuss next steps and other available options, Langford said.

St. Mary Hospital, which opened in 1930, was closed in June 2019 with demolition following later that year.

In May 2021, the land was gifted to the City of Port Arthur. It was a return, as originally the land had been given by two Port Arthur residents for the construction of the hospital.

Langford said when choosing a new location for the animal shelter, stipulations included ensuring the building was constructed on city-owned property and that it was not in a special flood hazard area, such as Pleasure Island, Sabine Pass, or the area near the Civic Center.

The Port Arthur Animal Shelter is located at 201 4th Street. (Monique Batson/The News)