Ahead of a third go with the East Design Review Board, Country Doctor Community Health Center director Linda McVeigh shared plans for a new all-access dental clinic in Capitol Hill with community members on Wednesday, followed by an ask to help fill a gap in donor funding.
“Dental care is one of the only gaps in our program, in terms of healthcare that we have,” McVeigh said.
Country Doctor found through a survey last summer that two-thirds of its patients served don’t have access to dental care. The dental clinic will replace the old Betty Lee Manor, which Country Doctor currently uses for additional programs and administrative space. Those programs will be added back when the new building is constructed, also offering eight dental stations. Country Doctor will use the first two floors, and eight apartment units will be on the top two floors, McVeigh said.
The new facility is estimated to cost $7 million, of which the Campaign for Country Doctor has secure $4.1 million, according to a campaign flier. McVeigh said the nonprofit is waiting on a $2 million ask from the state — $1 million each from the House and Senate, the latter voting in support of the funding request on Tuesday, McVeigh said.
The campaign is at 54 percent of its community donor support, McVeigh said to a full table at a project update meeting Wednesday, March 29, adding that was the point of event.
Rather than asking people to pull out their checkbooks, McVeigh called on attendees, most affiliated with a nonprofit or community organization, to help provide outreach about the project and its remaining goal of $900,000.
“We need to get that private donor piece complete, and then come to the groundbreaking,” McVeigh told them. “We need to get as much of this raised by June as possible.”
Construction is expected to start by mid-July or August, assuming the permitting process is timely.
“That’s my joke for the day,” McVeigh said.
Country Doctor was first in front of the East Design Review Board in October 2015. McVeigh had expected the four-story expansion project to clear the EDRB on Feb. 22, but the board had issues with window alignments on the second floor and massing on the back side.
McVeigh told the Capitol Hill Times after Wednesday’s meeting that the back side had changed from red to pale blue. A green living wall running along over the waste disposal area was removed, and is now only sited around a back door. As for having the window alignment the same for all floors, that would mean taking windows out of second-floor offices, McVeigh said.
Country Doctor and Environmental Works will go before the EDRB again at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in the Stuart T. Rolfe Room of Seattle University’s Admissions & Alumni Communications Building, 824 12th Ave.
Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce executive director Sierra Hansen said the chamber board is looking to provide a community gift back on 19th Avenue East. This is one commercial subarea of Capitol Hill that would be folded into a new business improvement area, for which the chamber is currently petitioning property owners.
Mark Jacobs with Coldwell Banker Bain said the Capitol Hill agency has a community-giving program, and he’s looking for ways to contribute.
McVeigh said the earliest the dental clinic could be open is July 2018, as construction is slated to take 12 months.
Services provided in Betty Lee Manor will move into four construction trailers nearby on East Republican, McVeigh said, with WIC clients being received in a conference room at Country Doctor.
“We really want to keep the kids out of those construction trailers,” she said.
Not only is dental care important for preventing more serious health impacts, McVeigh said, it also helps people in the workforce.
“If you don’t have teeth, it’s hard to go to a job interview and smile.”