ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Irene Byron Hospital has been a landmark on Lima Road since 1916.

But its many uses, including a hospital for tuberculosis patients and a nursing home, will become history when the buildings are soon demolished and 70 acres of the site will be up for sale.

At Friday’s weekly Allen County Commissioners’ meeting, the commissioners approved a $31,000 expenditure to fence in the proposed demolition areas on the 78-acre site. Gleave Construction, 532 E. Hawthorne St., was awarded the contract.

Six-foot fencing is to go up immediately at the former Irene Byron site on Lima Road as demolition nears.

The project will require approximately 4,000 linear feet of 6-foot tall security fencing placed around the former Byron and Kidder sites. The fences will not have barbed wire but will be tall enough to dissuade trespassers, said Vance Hernandez, Allen County’s director of facility maintenance.

Commissioner Richard Beck said the demolition date is not set.

“We are in the process of demolishing that site. We’ve done the remediation on some asbestos that was there and our desire is really to present a clean site for sale,” he said.

On the site is a barn for the Allen County Highway Department, the Allen County Department of Environmental Management and storage facilities.

“We’re trying to figure out where exactly to draw the property line, but the vast majority of the facility will be sold once we demolish the buildings and we prepare it into a clean site that can be put up for sale,” Beck said.

According to the documents filed with the county, Sturges Development is handling the eventual sale.

The Byron Wellness Community vacated the property about two years ago when it took its operations to Beacon Street and Lake Avenue, Beck said. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department work release program was housed there until it was forced to close two years ago.