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Trip to former hospital an emergency for good deals

Steadroy Bright Portage loads one many microwave overs he purchased during sale equipment furniture old Porter hospital Valparaiso Friday Oct.

Steadroy Bright, of Portage, loads one of the many microwave overs he purchased during a sale of equipment and furniture at the old Porter hospital in Valparaiso Friday Oct. 12, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

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If you go

The sale of nonmedical items from the old Porter hospital, open to the public, will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the former hospital, at 814 LaPorte Ave. Items will be sold cash-and-carry only and must be removed at the time of payment.

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Updated: November 14, 2012 2:59PM



VALPARAISO — Eric Wennerstrom took full advantage of the hospital employee and volunteer sale of items from the former Porter hospital Friday.

His mom, Patricia Keith, is a clinical analyst at the hospital, so he got to attend the pre-sale, which is open to the public Saturday and Sunday.

He had 40 computer monitors loaded on a wheeled rack, and said he was looking for more monitors, a server rack and shelving. Wennerstrom started as the information technology specialist at Nativity of Our Savior Catholic School in Portage a few weeks ago.

“We’re upgrading their technology, and if we can save some money to buy other stuff, that’s better. The students will benefit more,” he said.

About 100 people lined up at the old hospital before the presale began at 8 a.m. Anything that’s not sold during the public sale this weekend will be donated to local not-for-profits.

“We have probably 4,000 to 5,000 pieces — everything non-medical in the building,” said Erik Tivin, chief executive officer of Centurion Service Group, the Chicago firm handling the sale. “You name it, it’s here.”

The laundry list of items up for sale by cash-and-carry on the first floor and basement included televisions, office equipment, chairs, refrigerators, coffeepots, microwave ovens and wall art, among other items.

On Aug. 25, the hospital moved to a new facility, dubbed Porter Regional Hospital, at U.S. 6 and Indiana 49. The old hospital property has been sold to nearby Valparaiso University and will be used for athletic facilities.

Sue Erickson, a secretary at the hospital for 16 years, clutched a computer monitor as she got ready to scope out more finds.

“I’m just coming to see what’s here. I’m always looking for good treasures,” she said. “My family is with me. They’re interested to see what they could find. They’re always interested in a bargain.”

Olenda Bright, a registered nurse at the hospital for nine years, said she and her husband own a furniture business in Chesterton. She said it was “a fun sale.”

“I’m looking for art. I’m looking for chairs. We bought a display cabinet, and maybe some small electronics. The pressure here is holding on to your loot,” she said, as she headed to the basement to check out the kitchen wares.

She took a look at the refrigerators, marked in red grease pencil with prices, $100 for the large ones and $30 for the small ones.

“We can definitely get a couple of these,” she said, pulling her cell phone out to call her husband about the mini-fridges.



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