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Lincoln health department expansion under way

August 29, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Behind the Lincoln County Health Department, mounds of rough gravel create a moonscape. Piles of earth blow dust onto parked cars as nails lay in wait around odd sized plywood planks. Diane Miller, public health administrator, surveys the brown coat of dust on her black car and smiles.

"Look at my car!" She seems willing to sacrifice her clean car for the sake of progress at the health department.

After weeks of setbacks due to rain and bedrock, construction at the health department is now progressing smoothly. Work began last month on a building expansion project set to bring an additional 3,000 square feet to the building, and a new parking lot.

Miller said the project would create a new examination room, offices and a conference room, among others.

"We've started construction and are in the process of expanding the basement and first and second floors," said Miller. "We'll have more office space and we'll have a nurses' station."

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Central Kentucky Contracting Services have been hired for the construction, expected to total less than $430,000. The public health tax and district account is being used to cover the cost.

"Also, in the process we are reworking the front office to make it Health Insurance Privacy Protection Act compliant," said Miller. The former office had walk-up windows where insurance information could easily be overheard, said Miller. The refurbished office will have dividers to separate patients and protect health information.

The construction also will provide a home for the Department's Health Access Nurturing Development Services. HANDS provids house calls by family support workers to first-time parents, regardless of income. The service is available to any child, from pre-natal care to 2-year-olds.

"We're there to help in any area we can," said Miller.

John Rigney, co-owner of Central Kentucky Contracting Services, said he still wants to complete the building by the projected mid-December date.

"We're shooting for that, but we're actually about two weeks behind. We hope to make it up," said Rigney.

"It's a little too early to tell, but I think we'll hit within budget."

As each board of the addition's yellow lumbered skeleton is hammered into place, Miller and Rigney look to the future outcome.

"I think it will turn out great," said Rigney.

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