PROVO — Plans for a Utah County Convention Center couldn't come at a better time for the Mountainlands Community Health Center.
County officials plan to tear down the health facility to make way for a convention center to be built on 200 West between Center Street and 100 North.
That's good news for Lori Wright, development director for the Mountainlands Community Health Center. The health center will be moving into the old Utah County health building, 589 S. State. After remodeling, the building will be almost double the size of the current community health center.
The $3.1 million remodeling of the old county health building began in August and is expected to be completed in March, said Utah County Commissioner Steve White.
The county had rejected plans to remodel the building about two years ago because it would have cost $4.6 million, White said. A 35 percent drop in construction costs and a lower-than-expected interest rate helped make building a county convention center and moving Mountainlands possible.
Every county has a responsibility to provide indigent health care. The Mountainlands Community Health Center, a nonprofit primary care center that offers health care at a discount based on income and need of patients, fills that role for Utah County and saves the county millions of dollars each year, White said.
Mountainlands will be paying rent on the building and will officially move by the beginning of April, Wright said.
The current community health center is 10,000 square feet and serves about 12,000 patients, she said.
Its new building will be 18,000 square feet and will include a pharmacy, 20 exam rooms (up from 13), two new dentist offices and an X-ray room.
Wright said the community health center will probably take on about 2,000 more patients within the first year of the move.
"I'm just excited that we will be able to serve more people," she said.
The community health center has been in its current location since its inception in 1992. Back then, Wright said, no one imagined it would ever outgrow the building.
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