Tuesday April 16th, 2024 11:32PM

Good News Clinics breaks ground on expansion project

By Caleb Hutchins | Video by Seth Chapman

Good News Clinics officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for an expansion of their midtown Gainesville facility.

The ceremony has held at the clinic at the corner of Pine Street and High Street at 11:30 a.m. Good News Clincs Executive Director Liz Coates said the project will expand the capacity and services offered by the facility.

"It will turn our 11,000-square-foot current facility into closer to 20,000 square feet through renovations and an adjoining property that we just purchased," Coates said. "This is going to allow us to go from about 3,500 patients annually that we can see and treat at this capacity to closer to 6,000."

The $8 million project will be done in three phases with the first phase being the construction of a second building for administration that Coates said she hopes will be done by the end of 2023. The next two phases will see the existing building expanded and renovated to add a welcome center and expand the capacity of patient rooms.

Ron Stowe has been a volunteer with Good News Clinics for 30 years and is on its board of directors. He said it's an exciting project for the clinics.

"I don't think anybody associated with the clinics ever dreamed that we'd be building a second building for administration and then renovating this and adding to it," Stowe said. "It's really, really awesome for the community. It's the largest free clinic in the state of Georgia and it's an awesome thing for Hall County and Gainesville."

Stowe said the idea for the project began a several years ago when the adjoining building became available and began in earnest with fundraising efforts last year. Coates said the project has come at a good time as the Gainesville and Hall County areas continue to grow.

"We really have been experiencing growth and since about 2017 we started to grow out of this facility in terms of the demand for care in the population we serve," Coates said.

Good News Clinics is a non-profit health center that serves people who uninsured residents of Hall County who can't afford to purchase health care services. The clinics opened in 1992.

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