Construction of a new, comprehensive health facility at Worley Street and West Boulevard is nearing completion.
The project got a boost last week when the U.S. Senate approved an appropriations bill sponsored by Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo.
The spending bill included a $250,000 grant to help Boone County pay its share of the construction costs. Boone County Presiding Commissioner Keith Schnarre said the grant was a collaborative effort between county officials and Talent.
“We worked together, but he took the lead,” Schnarre said, adding that the federal grant is welcome because it will allow the county to avoid digging into reserves.
Schnarre said he estimated that by mid-February the facility will begin to resemble the finished project. The building, which will house the Family Health Center and the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health, should be completed by early April.
“The project is current,” said Gloria Crull, executive director of the Family Health Center. “We plan to be operational there in July.”
The $5.7 million transformation of the old Nowell’s grocery store location began in August 2003. The 50,000-square-foot building will include an auditorium, demonstration kitchen, and rooms for meetings and examination.
The city bought the building for $1.2 million in June 2001, but the city and county are splitting the costs.