Kuhn Hospital is a collapsing reflection of our insufficient policies, abilities

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 5, 2015

The abandoned Kuhn Hospital sits off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Vicksburg. -- Justin Sellers | The Vicksburg Post

The abandoned Kuhn Hospital sits off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Vicksburg. — Justin Sellers | The Vicksburg Post

There comes a point in time when obstacles and hurdles no longer matter. There comes a point when finding reasons why to do something far outweigh the reasons of why not do something.

Such is the case with the Kuhn Hospital.

Sadly, in this case, the time to do something about the rat-infested, public hazard, located off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, has come and gone. The opportunity to have done something about the eyesore when it was simply the right thing to do, has come and gone.

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Now, in the name of Sharen Wilson, who was brutally murdered in a dark and garbage-filled stairwell last weekend, it is time for this building to be torn down, removed from the city landscape and forgotten.

All of the great memories that surrounded this once important medical facility, whether it be births and needed medical help to the Vicksburg community, has been squandered by the many and nameless property owners, the State of Mississippi and local leaders, who have simply failed to do what is right, when it was right.

It is time for this building to come down.

As you easily move past the ‘no trespassing’ sign at the property’s entrance, you are immediately confronted with a building that is best cast for a horror movie or paranormal documentary.

In fact, the mere fact that so-called ghost hunters move in and about the eerie halls, and ultimately discovered Wilson’s body last weekend, should tell you that there are so many people to blame for the condition of this building and the absolute absence of security the property’s owners have put in place or that city leaders have demanded.

The condition of the building is an indictment, not only of the owners, but the slum laws that are found within the city code. The fact that this building could sit in such deplorable condition for so long, serving as a breeding ground for not only rats, but for a criminal element longing for a place that is dark, uncared for, abandoned and ignored.

We can ignore it no longer.

There has been talk of doing something about the hospital for years, whether it be promises from property owners about development, or strong words from city leaders about tearing it down. But all of those words drifted away as we as a community simply turned our attention to something else. Shame on us.

We can ignore it no longer.

Sharen Wilson’s death needs to be the last crime ever committed or connected to this building, this property. Her death needs to be the catalyst for change, not just in taking care of this hazard and eyesore, but a catalyst for how other abandoned buildings and structures are handled.

We can ignore it no longer.

The next few weeks will be telling in how our city leaders handle this situation. It’ll be interesting to see how the property owners handle this situation.

We, as a community, must continue to talk about how we handle such buildings, such blight, that are sprinkled around our town.

Sharen Wilson’s death was horribly tragic and senseless. The person responsible will be held responsible.

Now it is up to hold those in charge responsible for what happens to the place she was so brutally murdered.

We will not ignore it any longer.