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Big plans for the district health department | news < Illinois

Customers seeking medical care, employment training, and rental and utility support will find more of these services in one location after a planned $5 million expansion and renovation at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

The services, some of which are currently offered at multiple locations throughout Springfield, will be offered as part of the project at the department, 2833 South Grand Ave. E, consolidated. The building already houses the offices of Capital Township and the county’s Department of Community Resources.

The improvements, which will also refresh the Department of Health’s entrance lobby, should be in place by late 2023 or early 2024, said county spokesman Jeff Wilhite.

The project will be funded with a portion of the district’s share of America’s federal rescue plan funds and will also include the removal of the temporary building constructed in January 2021 adjacent to the main building for COVID-19 immunizations and other immunizations. Closed driveways connecting to the permanent building will be set up for vaccinations and other services, Wilhite said.

The project will add 11,000 square feet to the single-story, 60,200-square-foot building that formerly housed a Cub Foods.

The county government had previously purchased the building from a private group for $6.5 million, which included initial renovations. The Health Department began operations at the site in 2010 when departmental operations from three different sites were consolidated.

The new location on Springfield’s east side was the culmination of years of planning following the 2006 merger of the Springfield and Sangamon County Health Departments into a single county-operated entity.

“This is a project that we’ve been working on step-by-step since Doris Turner has represented this area on the county board,” said Board Chairman Andy Van Meter.

Turner, a Springfield Democrat, served on the board for more than a decade before being elected to the Springfield City Council in 2011. She was appointed to the Illinois Senate in February 2021 to represent the 48th District and was elected to a four-year term Nov. 8.

“Our goal was to make critical care easier to access for those in need,” said Van Meter, a Republican from Springfield. “If you need help with healthcare, utilities, rent, home weathering, or retraining, it doesn’t matter if that service is from Sangamon County, Capital Township, or the state of Illinois. You just need an efficient and convenient way to get the help you need.”

Van Meter said the health department’s “next evolution” ushered in by the project will move job search and retraining support to the building.

And with expanded hours proposed for outpatient services already offered by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine at the site, Van Meter said the expansion will “bring a nighttime medical clinic right into the community that needs those services most.” needed”.

County officials hope to solicit bids and award construction contracts for the project in the spring, Van Meter said. The planned installation of solar panels on top of the building would meet all of the site’s electricity needs going forward, he said.

Dean Olsen is a senior associate at Illinois Times. He can be reached at [email protected]217-836-1068 and twitter.com/DeanOlsenIT.

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