Gov. Whitmer Joins NMU Foundation, Adamo Group and City of Marquette to Commence Demolition of Former Hospital Site

Group shot from the demolition ceremony

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today joined the Northern Michigan University (NMU) Foundation, Adamo Group, and the City of Marquette to commence demolition of the former hospital property adjacent to NMU's campus in Marquette.

“I am excited to be here with all of you in Marquette, coming together today not just to demolish something, but to build the foundation for real economic potential,” said Governor Whitmer in her remarks. “What once created jobs, sustained families and served the community, has sat vacant for years. It is blight in prime real estate that deserves new life and after we rebuild, the reimagined site will write a new chapter in Marquette's story. This project represents what Michigan is really all about - investing in a place long term and building it back better than before.”

“The NMU Foundation is grateful to the many partners who have worked alongside us for over two years to enable this now very visible milestone,” said Brad Canale, CEO of the NMU Foundation. “With this event signifying the start of structural demolition, we recognize that this is the culmination of an idea - an idea that while rather simple in concept, was extremely difficult in execution. There was one required constant variable, every party at each stage of the process had to say ‘yes'. Today we celebrate the critical response of ‘yes' from all of our partners, providing the final resources to enable the project start for the ultimate benefit of the Marquette community.”

Others providing remarks included Karen Kovacs, City Manager of the City of Marquette; John Hartwell, Career and Outreach Representative of the Operating Engineers 324; Richard M. Adamo, President, Adamo Group; Matt McCauley, Senior Vice President of Regional Prosperity for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. Brock Tessman, President of Northern Michigan University.

The event was attended by additional key project partners, including Director Susan Corban of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, State Senator Ed McBroom, State Representative Jenn Hill, InvestUP, SDA Arwood Consulting, UP Health System – Marquette, TriMedia Environmental and Engineering, Veridea Group, and members of the Marquette City Commission and Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

The NMU Foundation, City of Marquette, and Adamo Group also announced two public information sessions, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Northern Center at NMU. The first session will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the second at 5:30 p.m.

“The demolition of the former hospital site is a significant step towards the goal of redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization,” said Karen Kovacs, City Manager for the City of Marquette. “Clear and open communication with the community regarding a project of this magnitude remains a priority, which is why we are pleased to join the NMU Foundation in hosting upcoming public information sessions.”

The project is occurring in two phases. Phase 1 includes hazardous material removal, asbestos abatement, interior demolition, and structural demolition of all buildings at the former hospital site located south of College Avenue, excluding the Blood Bank Building. Phase 2 will include the Robert C. Neldberg Building and Blood Bank Building after UP Health System – Marquette relocates its operations from those locations and ends its tenancy with the NMU Foundation in 2024.

Phase 1 of the demolition project is currently underway. Adamo Group has mobilized on site, established perimeter fencing, and engaged in pre-demolition waste removal and asbestos abatement, primarily in buildings on the southwest portion of the former hospital campus. Above grade structural demolition is expected to begin later this month. Phase 1 funding is supported by a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the City of Marquette by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which was finalized on April 25. Phase 2 is supported by a blight elimination grant to the NMU Foundation from the State Land Bank Authority, which was funded by an appropriation included in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 State Budget and finalized on January 11.

The NMU Foundation, in partnership with the City of Marquette, selected Adamo Group, a family-owned demolition company founded in 1964, based in Detroit, as general contractor on June 12, 2023. It was the lowest of seven bidders. Adamo plans to repurpose and recycle up to 95% of material, which will avoid significant landfill disposal while also mitigating project expenses. The company has also hired locally to execute the project.

“We clearly understand the importance of a project of this magnitude within the community and will perform the work in accordance with all local and federal regulations, implement proper engineering controls to mitigate any impact or interference within the community and complete the project in a safe and timely manner,” says Richard M. Adamo, President of Adamo Group. “We always strive to be good stewards to the surrounding neighborhoods and will at the very minimum, meet the expectations of all parties involved.”

For more information related to the project, visit

About Northern Michigan University Foundation

The NMU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1968. Its mission is to establish and foster relationships to generate resources that benefit the strategic goals of Northern Michigan University. Learn more at

This story was prepared by the NMU Foundation. Media contact: Kylie Bunting, and 906-227-2529. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the ceremony
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the ceremony
NMU President Brock Tessman speaks at the ceremony.
NMU President Brock Tessman speaks at the ceremony.
NMU Foundation-branded hard hats at the demolition site
NMU Foundation-branded hard hats at the demolition site
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Categories: Around NMU, Strategic Plan