If all goes according to plans, the Fulton County Health Center will open a new outpatient/rehabilitation building in about a year.
The Wauseon Planning Commission on Monday approved a motion allowing the project to move forward, pending a green light from Fulton County Engineer Frank Onweller concerning a storm water line. The freestanding 11,662 square foot building will be located on property just north of the health center’s pond and slightly west of Davita Dialysis.
The approximately $4 million project will have space for outpatient treatment, occupational, pediatric, and speech therapy, a multi-purpose room, a gym, a 7-foot, 6-inch by 14-foot dedicated therapy pool with locker rooms, and administrative and mechanical areas. A 107-space parking lot will be available from an access road off of Shoop Avenue, which is also used to reach the dialysis facility.
Commission members suggested a turning lane to the access road may be necessary.
The project’s contractor, Rupp Rosebrock of Liberty Center, has tentatively agreed to begin construction in mid-July. Rupp Rosebrock President Justin Groll said the building’s proposed opening would be sometime in May 2020. According to stipulations in the financial agreement for the new project, construction can’t begin until the company finishes an FCHC south medical office scheduled for completion in June.
Because no FCHC representatives were present, Commission members were unsure of the fate of the present Fulton County Health Center Rehabilitation building at 138 E. Elm St.
“I think they would take care of it and, hopefully, do something wise with it and not let it sit,” Mayor Kathy Huner said. “Development’s great, but leaving a building downtown is not always the best. But we can’t say no (to construction) because of that.”
FCHC spokesperson Steve McCoy said, in fact, the building transitioned to a full-fledged fitness center in September 2017. McCoy said rehabilitation services were moved to the hospital campus in an effort to centralize them, make them more convenient, and give rehabilitation patients, who shared the fitness space on Elm Street, more privacy.
“People were liking the aspect of everything being on campus,” he said. “(And) there was a demand for a nice fitness center here in the city.”
Huner said it’s good to see FCHC continually moving forward and developing, “and that just means good economic growth for Fulton County and for Wauseon.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.