By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Bridge Community Clinic is seeking acquisition of three nearby properties to build a new clinic that would expand clinic services and provide future substance use disorder programs.

For the plan to be feasible, the clinic needs to purchase one property owned by the Community Development Authority and two properties that have transfer agreements in place with the city of Wausau as part of the Wausau Chemical relocation plan. Bridge Community Clinic provides medical care, dental services and outpatient mental health counseling at its main campus, 1810 N. Second St., and offers access to care for the area’s uninsured and under-insured residents.

The clinic’s board of directors is offering to pay a combined $127,900 for the properties, which have a combined assessed land value of $140,300, according to city documents. Under the terms of the proposal, the clinic is also seeking property tax relief for the land, buildings, and clinic property. The city is also being asked to provide a paved, striped parking lot, install a left turn light at the intersection of Bridge and Third Streets and install pedestrian crosswalks at Humboldt and Second Street to provide safer walking for neighborhood patients.

The entire project is projected to cost $6 million, which includes $3.6 million of clinic resources. The organization is seeking community support via donations, a capital campaign and potential grants to help fund the project. Any remaining balances will be funded through long-term financing.

The multi-phase project calls for acquiring property in the first phase, followed by building a new two-story, 13,000-square-foot structure with integrated medical and behavioral health services and specialty behavioral health services along with drive-up approaches and additional parking in the second phase. Additional phases call for relocating community garden spaces, installing a pavilion, creating space for meetings and special events, and renovating the original clinic for business operations currently being undertaken at a rental property on Scott Street, according to city documents.

The clinic’s current medical services spaces encompasses about 6,200 square feet of the southernmost building, according to city documents. The space includes exam rooms, a laboratory, staff offices, a procedure room, medication and supplies storage, waiting areas and a health education space. But the current space is not functional for team-based care, and Bridge Clinic is maxed out on space for any future provider, support staff or service expansion.

Bridge Community Clinic’s proposal includes purchasing the former Woodworkers Mart at 2102 N. Second St., the former Marathon Press building at 2001 N. Second St., and a companion vacant lot at 1940 N. Second Street. The latter two properties were acquired by AJR properties North, LLC in November 2013 and are slated for transfer to the city of Wausau later this year.

If the plan is approved, the expansion will allow the clinic to add between six and eight full time patient or supportive care positions by 2022.

Top image: Bridge Community Clinic Facebook photo