At Wednesday’s noon meeting of the Marianna Rotary Club, held at Jim’s Buffet and Grill, County Health Administrator, William Long was the featured program speaker. He told the attendees the history of how the funding of the new Health Center facility was developed, the plans for starting construction, and provided pictures of the new building overlaid onto the site.
The funding came after years of requests, going back into the term of the previous administrator, Jimmy Rigsby. Initial funding of $300,000 was obtained years ago through the efforts of Representative David Coley. This was used for facility plans and architectural drawings. Year after year the funding was denied, and the plans were put aside. Then, during a period of extreme budget cuts throughout the state systems, funding was suddenly made available.
The first step of the $11 million project will be demolition of the Sykes building. The only part of that previous facility that will be retained is the property, landscaping, water retention ponds, and parking areas. This is valued at approximately $1.5 million in savings. It is hoped that construction will begin in September, with a 9 to 10 month construction period.