SEARHC begins work on $10 million clinic

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2001

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is ready to start work on a $10 million clinic.

The consortium broke ground Friday on the 25,000-square-foot building, which sits on 2 1/2 acres that SEARHC owns near Salmon Creek.

The new outpatient facility, which caters to Southeast Natives, will offer medical, social and behavioral health services. Dental and other services will remain at the current clinic.

SEARHC hopes to begin construction in September of this year and move in to the new building September 2002, said President Ken Brewer.

"We hope this facility will help us deliver better care and give patients better access to care," Brewer said. "Where we are right now, we can't even take any more patients."

The hope, said Brewer, is that the new facility will allow people better access to care by alleviating the pressure of cramming 30,000 patients and 150 staff members into its current 12,000-square-foot building.

SEARHC will fund construction through a $6.7 million tax exempt bond issue from the city, Brewer said. The consortium will take the remaining $3.3 million needed for the project out of its savings, he said.

The contract for the site preparation was awarded to William Tonsgard, owner of Channel Construction. Brewer said the "dirt work" for the facility will start Thursday and take about 45 days. He expects to send out the request for proposals for construction contracts on Aug.17.

However, the nonprofit group is still working on arranging city bus service to the facility, which has been an issue since its planning stages last fall.

Brewer said SEARHC is still working with the city to create a bus loop around Bartlett Regional Hospital and the new facility.

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