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New $7.8M Greene County health center opens this week

Greene County Public Health will move into its new $7.8 million facility this week, and the public is invited to tour the building today.

During the open house from 3 to 6 p.m., residents can take self-guided tours of the new facility, which is adjacent to the old public health building at 360 Wilson Road.

Construction on the project started in June 2017 and was finished earlier this summer. To pay for it, the health department received a $6 million bond from the Greene County Port Authority that is being financed through Huntington Bank, according to health officials.

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No funds from the public health tax were used to build the new facility, as those monies can only be used to directly fund operations, officials said.

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Staff from the health department and Five Rivers Health Center will start moving into the new building by the end of the week, according to Greene County Public Health spokeswoman Laurie Fox.

The project was originally expected to finish in March, but inclement weather delayed its completion, according to Greene County Health Commissioner Melissa Howell.

The new two-story building will be more convenient for many residents, as commonly used services such as health permits and the Women, Infants and Children program will be on the first floor, Howell said.

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“This organization has served generations of families at this location for 42 years and will continue to do so in a much more spacious and updated facility designed with the community and the future of public health in mind,” Howell said. “This is an exciting chapter in the book of public health in Greene County, and the grand opening will offer an opportunity to see the facility and learn about the services provided for our Greene County families.”

In addition to WIC and environmental health services, public health provides HIV testing and maintains birth and death certificate records. Services may be unavailable Aug. 20-21 as staff members finish moving, Howell said.

“We will alert the public to any changes in our regularly scheduled hours through a press release and on our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” she said.

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Chris Josselyn of Shook Construction was the project manager. Even with the weather delays, the project stayed within the budget, Josselyn said.

“Shook is proud to have been a partner on this project with Greene County Public Health,” he said. “We are excited in helping them reach their goal, to provide a new building which will serve the Community of Greene County for many years to come.”

Today’s open house will feature several speakers, steel drum music by Joseph Glenn and refreshments provided by Greene Memorial Hospital.

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