The Madison County Health Department has signed a bid contract to start work on the new health department building which will be located at 105 Armory St., which formally housed the Renal Advantage, Inc. Care Center dialysis service.
In April 2019, when the Madison County Health Department Board purchased the building, Chairman Joe Brewen said the board is excited about the announcement.
"After researching the buildings in the city area that are vacant and much consideration to the price of the property and the building's status and its location, the board selected the dialysis building as the best option for the new facility," Brewen said. "As the contract of sale is the beginning, the project is expected to be completed by late summer 2020."
At the time of purchase Brewen said the existing facility will need additional offices and clinical rooms. He said the new addition would be necessary as the square footage of the building is equal to the square footage of the current health department building.
Madison County Health Department Becky Hunt said the staff are excited about the whole project.
"Key improvements will be more space for license services, training and education room with an education cooking set up for cooking classes, generator power for emergencies," Hunt said. "We won't have to move the vaccine in the middle of the night due to power outages by cell phone and flash lights. There will also be space to add staff to be able to provide the Chronic Disease Prevention programs."
Hunt said the larger building will allow staff the ability to host training and education programs especially cooking and nutrition focuses.
"We are anxious to begin the Chronic Disease Prevention programs with a target of diabetes, heart disease and physical activity," Hunt said. "We will also have space for added public health service growth."
Hunt said the program is a little behind original plans, but the best things are worth the wait. She said they hope to be moved in by the end of 2020.
"Words cannot describe how exciting this project is and how long we have planned our public health capacity for Madison County," Hunt said. "Our Board of Trustees has been the key reason this is happening and was even allowed to be more than a dream."
Hunt said the community has been just as supportive as the board and everyone is anxious to see the goal completed.
"I'd like to thank the citizens of Madison County for having the forethought of public health infrastructure needs for our county and passing the tax increase which is the only reason this is possible," Hunt said. "Also, the First State Community Bank for working with us to have the financing to be able to move forward with this project."
Hunt said lastly she would like to thank Sargent Construction Company for wanting to see this project as a reality for the community and the great pride they take in the county and their dedication to subcontractors being local.
"The board and staff are very grateful for the community's support in the new facility," Brewen said. "We look forward to the completion of this project and feel the public will be pleased with the new building."
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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