Lawrence + Memorial Hospital buries time capsule to be opened in 2070

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (L+M) today buried a three-foot-long time capsule in the wall of the Emergency Department’s renovated waiting area which is currently under construction and expected to open later this year.

The capsule is designed with a plastic screw-top lid so the vessel can be opened easily in the future. Inside, the capsule includes a selection of items reflective of the past three years (the start of the construction project and the COVID pandemic). L+M launched the ED project in late 2019 – just months before the hospital admitted its first COVID-19 patient. The pandemic forced the project to scale back due to state mandates around social distancing and other pandemic measures aimed at keeping workers and patients safe.

The capsule contains a box of surgical masks, an N95 mask (coveted and hard to find in the early days of the pandemic), an empty vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, an empty vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, hand sanitizer, a COVID-19 swab kit and PCR test used in the testing tent to determine COVID infection, as well as a lab coat and plastic gloves. A USB flash drive includes press releases, employee newsletters, annual reports, photos, videos and other items from the past three years. The time capsule, created by employees of Ducci Electric of Farmington, is made from the same metal piping being used to house the construction project’s electrical conduit.

The tube also includes a special message to those opening the time capsule on March 18, 2070 – 50 years from the date the first COVID positive patient was admitted at L+M.

Opening of the ED waiting room this summer will be the first publicly accessible area of the three-year-long project to expand the ED and upgrade the hospital’s power capabilities. The power project will provide redundancy in back-up power for the entire hospital that does not exist today, paving the way for future expansion capabilities at the hospital to provide additional state-of-the-art medical care as the hospital continues to grow its services providing the greatest of care close to home. While the waiting area will open this year, the $84 million project is slated to be completed in 2024.