Construction starts on Lee-area health clinic

Posted April 30, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.

LEE, Maine — Construction of a $500,000 Health Access Network satellite clinic originally slated for completion last fall has begun and might be done by late this year, officials said Tuesday.

Larry Ham Construction of Lincoln began digging the foundation on the Lee Academy campus last week and as of April 26 had its footings poured. The side walls have been formed, company owner Larry Ham said.

“The [floor] slab would be last,” Ham said Tuesday. “That would be probably be done next week, early- to mid-week.”

The building site is on Route 168, which is also known as Winn Road, opposite the campus administrative office and adjacent to the Lee town office, where a temporary clinic has been operating for about a year.

A physician assistant, mental health therapist, hygienist and school receptionist will staff the building when it is complete, school officials have said. Besides Lee Academy students and staff, residents from Lee, Winn, Springfield — anyone who uses the Health Access offices in Lincoln — can be treated in the clinic.

Health Access Network is a federally funded community health center located on West Broadway in Lincoln which handles 13,000 patients or 50,000 visits annually. It also has a satellite site in Enfield.

Announced originally in June 2012 and set for completion in September 2012, the clinic’s construction was delayed when RSU 67 officials, who were sharing the federal Department of Health and Human Services grant that was to pay for construction, dropped out of the deal in October.

The decision, HAN officials said, was abrupt and came after several reversals. School board members, meanwhile, criticized Health Access officials for what they said were failures to relate key elements of the grant.

In its original form, the grant would have allocated about $53,000 to RSU 67 for a health clinic that serves students at Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln, officials said.

Ham’s construction deadline for the foundation is July 1. He said he expects to finish a few weeks early.

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