Grant awarded to help offset costs of new medical building

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LIVERMORE FALLS – The town has been awarded a $350,000 grant to help Franklin Memorial Hospital build a medical arts building downtown on Main Street, according to a FMH news release.

The town is acting as the fiscal agent for the grant money.

The Maine Office of Community Development within the Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded the grant to help offset construction and site work costs of a new $4 million, 13,500-square-foot medical arts center on Main Street, adjacent to the Chuck Wagon Restaurant. The Office of Community Development administers the HUD-funded Community Development Block Grant Program in Maine.

Developer Kevin Bunker has worked with a committee of Livermore Falls residents and town officials since August 2010 to develop the proposal for the grant.

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A former mall attached to the Chuck Wagon will be torn down and a new separate building will be built. The mall, which is vacant, formerly housed the SAD 36/Jay adult education program.

“The great partnership among town government, residents, and the hospital has really developed a strong sense of communitywide engagement to make this project and grant successful,” Livermore Falls Town Manager Kristal Flagg stated in a release. “Townspeople are really excited about this project.”

The new center will be owned by Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and will bring together personnel and services currently provided at Franklin Health Livermore Falls Family Practice on Union Street and at Franklin Memorial Hospital Outpatient Services on Main Street. Both facilities had too little space for their needs and expansion at either building was not feasible.

Planning began more than two years ago after an inclusive long-range community visioning process determined a need to construct a new health center in a prominent Livermore Falls location. “FMH began working with town leaders and residents to assess the community needs, options, and feasibility of constructing a new facility. During this process, several hundred individuals provided positive feedback,” Rebecca Ryder, FMH president, said.

Health care services provided at the new center will include primary care by the medical staff of Livermore Falls Family Practice, and outpatient specialty care including orthopaedics, obstetrics/gynecology women’s care, physical therapy, and mental health counseling. Also offered will be laboratory services, X-rays, and digital mammography services.

Preliminary site assessment work has been completed and the project will move forward in the coming weeks with completion projected for late 2011. PDT Architects designed the building that will be overseen during construction by Developers Collaborative, an association of real estate developers. The total cost of the project is $4 million.

Aesthetic considerations have played a role in the center’s planning. Most of downtown Livermore Falls features buildings with distinctive brick façades and multiple stories. Although the center will be just one story, it will have a brick front that resembles a multistory complex. Parking will accommodate 55 vehicles.

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