HARTFORD, Conn. — Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has begun laundry operations at a new, state-of-the-art facility in leased space inside a historic Hartford building, the hospital reports in a press release.
The laundry covering 22,000 square feet employs 35 people in producing more than 6 million pounds of laundry annually for Saint Francis and another 4 million pounds for area hospitals. It has additional capacity should demand for its services increase, the hospital reports.
The facility operates six days a week, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. It utilizes a new tunnel washing system, four specialty washers, four large gas dryers, three small gas dryers and two gas-fired, hot-oil ironers with feed systems and sheet folders, towel folders and uniform presses.
“We are pleased to have renovated this place, rich in history, just one block from our main campus,” says Christopher Dadlez, president/CEO. “It accommodates both our current needs and anticipates potential future expansion of our laundry services.”
Building renovations and equipment purchases cost Saint Francis more than $4 million.
“It’s exciting to be able to incorporate a 21st century major industrial laundry facility into a nearly 100-year-old structure without altering its façade,” adds Dadlez.
The new site anticipates approval of a proposed new patient tower on Saint Francis’ main campus, which will require demolition of the Hospital’s current laundry operations.
Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets and is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.
“We appreciate Saint Francis’ continued investment in our city,” says Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. “This is a great opportunity for both the City of Hartford and Saint Francis to move forward together in working to help stabilize our neighborhoods through future job growth.”
When it was constructed in 1915, the building at 275 Homestead Ave. was occupied by the original Hartford Special Machine Company, the site’s first tenant. During its earliest years, the building bustled with machinists producing tools and performing government work during both world wars.
Since then, the building has undergone many transitions, the hospital says. In 1960, Hartford Special Machine Company moved to Simsbury and the building was sold to a group of investors. One year later, it became the new home, and still is today, for the Smith-Worthington Saddlery Company when the company was forced to move from its Sigourney Street location to pave the way for I-84.
Over the past 40 years, the building has been home to a variety of other tenants, including Service Press, Appel’s Printing & Mailing, City Glass Co, Callaghan Paper Box Co., Calbox and Puzzel Partners, Smith Fire Extinguisher Supply and Hartford Winnelson Plumbing Supply.
In 2006, Hartford Special Partners, LLC was formed and acquired the building.