Wrecking crews have started tearing down a building on the Wilson Medical Center campus that was abruptly closed three years ago because of structural concerns.

United Health Services officials say most of the old Picciano Building in Johnson City will be demolished over the next several weeks.

The building was shut down in May 2016, only 40 years after it was opened to house a 100-bed extended care facility.

The structure was next door to the site of a parking garage that collapsed in July 2015.

A pedestrian bridge over Baldwin Street will be renovated as part of the construction of a new gateway building across from Wilson Medical Center.

UHS initially announced the Picciano Building would be empty for about a year for "major renovation work." Structural studies ultimately lead to the decision to remove three-fourths of the structure.

After the demolition work is completed, renovations will begin on the remaining south portion of the building. Then, a four-story structure will be added to provide for a kitchen, dining space and offices.

Construction on the project is scheduled to be finished in the fall.

This rendering provided by UHS illustrates the future appearance of the Arch Street side of the Picciano Building.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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