FHP officials considered having a sewer-connecting party or a gathering to blow up the "coming soon" sign, but they finally decided on a belated groundbreaking.

"Construction crews have already broken the ground, so we're a little late," said Elden Mitchell, regional vice president for FHP, a health maintenance organization.The Orem medical center, west of Main Street on the University Parkway (13th South), will cost $2.4 million to build. An optical department, dental facility and medical area will be housed in a two-story building with 25,400 square feet of space.

Upon completion in early 1989, the facility will employ 75 people, including 12 doctors, four dentists, a pharmacist and an optometrist. It will boast 30 medical and 10 dental examination rooms.

Along with Provo facilities, the Orem center will serve 11,000 Utah County members of the FHP health plan.

Orem officials hailed FHP's arrival as a "healthy" beginning to their plan to develop the 13th South corridor into an elegant and beautiful entrance to the city.

Mitchell said it was the freeway access that drew FHP planners to the site.

"The facility will have convenient access from I-15. It's a high-traffic area. The only drawback is some evenings and weekends the traffic may be too heavy because of BYU sports," he said.