HealthFirst announces new site for north side clinic during meeting about Southland construction

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comJuly 28, 2014 

This rendering shows the design of the HealthFirst Bluegrass clinic to be built on Southland Drive. EOP Architects.

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HealthFirst Bluegrass officials assured about 20 concerned residents Monday that construction of its $11.7 million public health clinic on Southland Drive will be as quick and clean as possible. They also announced the new location for its north side clinic.

The north side clinic, now in the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department building at 650 Newtown Pike, will move in November to the shopping center at Bryan Station and New Circle roads, said Dr. Steve Davis, HealthFirst's executive director. The 6,000-square-foot building was used previously by Paragon Family Practice.

The health department will remain on Newtown Pike.

During the hourlong meeting, there was a polite exchange of questions and answers about the Southland Drive clinic. The tone was much different from that of meetings in 2012, when tempers ran high.

Monday's questions focused on storm water, asbestos removal, fencing and communication, with HealthFirst officials promising to work to keep neighbors in the loop.

"I can certainly give a monthly update, and I would be welcome to do that," Davis said.

Larry Cowgill, president of Congleton-Hacker, construction contractor for the project, said asbestos already was being removed from the buildings at the clinic site. Davis said the buildings will come down "on or before Aug. 15." The goal is to finish construction by Oct. 1, 2015.

After a question about where workers would park, Cowgill said they would park on the site or at a nearby site owned by former project manager Ted Mims. Cowgill said parking on side streets would be "an absolute no-no," and the stipulation was included in workers' contracts.

Cowgill said a staffed construction trailer also would be at the site.

Previously announced plans for storm-water runoff, landscaping and fencing, fine-tuned with neighborhood input before the project became mired in various issues until earlier this year, remain in place, Cowgill said. The system was designed to handle "frog-choking rain," he said.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.

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