Health center expanding, but staying put


The Wood County Health Department is going ahead with a $600,000 expansion for the health center that avoids a possible temporary closure and temporary move of the facility.

In order to move forward with the project, four separate resolutions were passed by the board of health at the regular Thursday meeting.

The $600,000 will be for a phased construction, that avoids closure of the facility. That total includes a cost of $33,900 to facilitate that type of construction methodology. An alternate option was to make a temporary move to a county facility in Haskins, which was estimated to cost $37,600.

The project would expand the behavioral health facility, medical exam rooms, the patient waiting room and the pharmacy.

“The additional room comes from better use of space, moving an interior wall to use some space that is currently outside the health center, but within the overall footprint of the health department,” said Beth Peery, public health information and education manager.

A survey of patients showed that they consider a phased-in approach, without moving to a new building, to be the least disruptive.

“If Plan A (phased-in construction) is the least disruptive toward the patients, that’s the route we need to go,” board member Richard Strow said. “The $33,900 for the phased-in approach seems a very small price to pay. We’re here to serve the public. And we’ve got the money available to do this.”

Costs for the project are being funded through federal capital improvement funds.

In remaining at the building on Gypsy Lane Road, there would be an additional cost of $10,000 for moving the pharmacy within the facility and to keep it open during construction.

Had the new alternate location been chosen, there would have had to be pharmacy adjustments as well, but those costs were unknown. Additionally, it keeps the pharmacy from being closed during a possible move.

The base bid for the project is $483,200, with additional costs approved for: exam room painting $6,600, corridor painting $4,350 and a cost contingency of $71,950, all totaling $600,000.

Original estimates for the project were at $652,000. Health Commissioner Benjamin Robison pointed out to the board that it was right on target, because there have been other costs, including original architectural and engineering design work.

Resolutions passed for renovation included: acceptance of the recommendation of the submitted bids and to support award of the contract to the Mel Lanzer Company, allocation of funding for the construction contractor’s costs for the health center renovation, a resolution to authorize the board of health president and the health commissioner to sign the agreement with the awarded contractor and authorization of up to $10,000 to support relocation of the health center pharmacy to continue operation there during Phase 1 of construction.

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