By Daniel Brunty
The Winston County Journal
Winston Medical Center is continuing with its strategic plan on providing all of Winston County and its surrounding areas with health care. Another step in this direction was a meeting of WMC representatives and Noxapater officials on July 19 to discuss the possibility of using the old Noxapater City Hall located behind Woody’s.
WMC CEO Lee McCall and Dr. Mike Ard met with Noxapater Alderman Brian Burrage and former Noxapater Alderman Grady Suttle to tour the building and see if it could meet the expectations of soon becoming the home of a clinic.
Also attending the meeting were County Engineer Jimmy Kemp, architect Arjen Lagendijk, and Construction Administrator Don Delaney.
In previous discussions with Noxapater officials, McCall and WMC officials said they plan on having a temporary location set up for the clinic in the form of a modular building that can be used until a permanent location can be set. The modular unit would be located between the new City Hall and the fire station.
With the old City Hall building not being in use for years, Noxapater officials decided to offer it to WMC for use of a clinic or any other need. Kemp and Burrage also informed McCall and Ard that some of the land on the side of the building could be used for a parking space for the clinic if officials determine it to be the location of choice.
As the men toured the building, McCall and Ard explained to the architects what they would need in the structure to perform clinical duties there. Lagendijk and Delaney inspected the building and gave the rest of the group their opinions on what could be done.
After the inspection, the group crossed the street to meet in the office of Kemp Associates to discuss their options. Once a detailed explanation was given of what was needed for the clinic by McCall and Dr. Ard, the architects gave them suggestions on what could be done with the structure and what options the town of Noxapater would have with those options.
Other options discussed in regards to use for the old City Hall were having the building declared a historic landmark, which would possible allow certain tax exemptions for the WMC and/or town. Officials also discussed using the building for a pharmacy or home health agency for WMC.
During the meeting, the Noxapater officials asked McCall and Ard if they would be interested in considering a change in the plans of the location of the temporary modular building from being between the new City Hall and Fire Station to the space on the side of the old City Hall. This location would have the clinic closer to Main Street and to the flow of residents in the town. McCall was interested in having the location of the temporary clinic here.
McCall said WMC is still acquiring information about the modular building, and will soon make a decision on a timeframe of its opening.
Even with no plans set in stone at this time, both Noxapater and WMC officials indicated they are close to having a serviceable clinic for Noxapater residents soon.