Peggy Kiefer

Grove Sun

Salvage and demolition of the old Integris Grove Hospital began on February 1 to make way for a new Harps and other retail businesses. 

Wheeler Development’s Randy Wheeler, Director of  Acquisitions and Development, is currently working on market analysis for other retail at the location, which will be a total of over 77,000 square feet. 

“It will stimulate jobs and bring in more businesses,” said David Oliphant, President and Owner of Oliphant Corporation (dba Oliphant Corporation).

Oliphant Construction and its employees are working hard to meet their deadline to have the lot “pad site ready” by December 31, 2011. 

“It has to be. We plan on 90 days for salvage, then 90 to 120 days for demolition,”said Oliphant.

Ninety percent of the Oliphant workers employed for this job are local.  “We had over 200 applications turned in and currently employ 35 local workers,” said Oliphant.

“Our goals were to put locals to work and keep dollars in the local economy as much as possible,” he said.

Oliphant stated that they are pushing $10,000 to $12,000 a month back into the local economy.

Oliphant also enjoys giving people a second chance.  Several of his crew members are in drug court or some sort of recovery.

“It’s a miracle that they change at all and to witness that change is a fantastic thing to see,” said Oliphant, who is ten years in recovery himself.  He has employed over 100 such individuals.

“It gives me joy to see them hold their heads high and stand a little taller,” said Oliphant who also stated he prefers treatment over incarceration any day.

“All I know is what worked for me.  I started at age 15 and didn’t come home until I was 40 and found myself on my parents couch,” he said.

Another goal of Oliphant Construction is to put a rock crusher on the helipad.  By doing that they will cut trucking and emissions which will save the county and city street and road repair.

“That way it is all contained right here.  It saves money and is environmentally friendly,” said Oliphant.

“Oliphant hopes to continue to work with future development contracts here with Wheeler Development.  We’re going to start bidding more here, eventually have an office and hopefully other are projects,” he said.

A public auction will be held March 22, for showers, sinks, doors, window, counter tops, heaters, air conditioners, cabinets and many other items.  For more information on the auction contact J.B. Robison Auctioneers at 918-256-5524.