AUGUSTA — Yearn to return to yesteryear — or last month — and sit in the burgundy-cushioned chairs that formerly populated conference rooms and public areas of Augusta’s former hospital?
Need some conference tables, over-bed tables, chairs, commercial kitchen equipment, televisions?
You can find all that and more this weekend at a public sale of mostly nonmedical equipment at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center hospital on East Chestnut Street.
“This is like a humongous garage sale we’re having this weekend,” said Kylen Cieslak, manager of buyer-development for Centurion, the Chicago-based firm conducting the sale. Centurion already removed most of the medical equipment left behind when MaineGeneral relocated its Augusta hospital to the new Alfond Center for Health on Nov. 9. That is destined for auction later in Chicago.
The lobby, first, second and third floors will be open to the public for shopping, and prices are marked in thick red crayon/pencil. Seven Centurion workers bolstered by some temporary employees have been readying for the sale.
Sale hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. If you want to buy, bring cash and a vehicle to handle the items. “It’s cash and carry only,” Cieslak said.
The building, now emblazoned with a large “closed” sign, still carries the odor of a hospital. Some “Patient Move Route” paper signs are still on the wall, and a phone was ringing loudly in kitchen area on Wednesday afternoon as Centurion workers gathered dozens of large and small refrigerators and arranged them around the former cafeteria.
Stainless steel tables and sinks and other equipment remain in the kitchen. Janitorial equipment, such as floor polishers, burnishers and vacuums are also being sold.
Cork boards and display cases still hang on walls. Buyers better bring screwdrivers and hand tools to remove any they purchase. Dollies will be available.
Hundreds of chairs from rolling to stackable to cushioned armchairs are spread across all the floors. Filing cabinets — generally priced at $10 per drawer — fill other rooms. The art that formerly hung on corridors and in rooms is gathered in what used to be the gift shop. Clocks, which appear to be battery-operated, and trash cans abound as well.
Shoppers — who must enter and exit via the main lobby — should be pretty comfortable because the heat is on and the elevators and lights all function. Lamps and desks are offered for sale as well.
Cieslak said it’s fairly easy to price most items: “We know just based on past experience. We’ve done seven of these in the last three years.”
Current hospital employees get a chance to purchase items in a private sale prior to the public one.
“Our object is to clean out the building, not to maximize profit, so bring a big truck and your wallet because it’s cash and carry and we don’t hold the merchandise,” said Erik Tivin, CEO, Centurion Service Group, LLC, in a prepared statement.
Some medical equipment is available, and buyers can request volume discounts.
Cieslak said people with questions can contact her at 847-226-6511. Nonmedical items left at the end of the day on Sunday will be donated to various organizations, she said.
MaineGeneral Medical Center has sold the building and is leasing back part of it. It hired Centurion to clear out the property.
Sarah Webster, spokeswoman for MaineGeneral, said Wednesday that some furnishings and other items were taken to the new hospital, some went to the Thayer Campus in Waterville and others were given to nonprofits at their request.
“We’ve re-purposed a lot of stuff,” Webster said.