Posted 4:15 PM 5/3/2012 : El Rio Health Center gets major boost
TUCSON - El Rio Community Health Center on Congress is getting a much needed makeover thanks to The Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center was just awarded a $5.49 million dollar grant under the Affordable Care Act. The money will go revitalizing the Robert Gomez building which was built in 1978.
At the time, the building was meant to accomodate 7,000 people, but now it sees at least double that number each year.
Kathy Byrne, El Rio's Executive Director, says the building is bursting at the seams.
"We work with it everyday. We're keeping it band-aided together and it's working, but it's not going to work for much longer."
For her, the money will not only help the center, it will help revitalize downtown Tucson.
When it's complete, the new building will be 50,000 square feet, 2 stories, and home to additional staff members. More exam rooms and space for group visits will also be built. In total, the building will cost $14.1 million dollars.
Patients that spoke to News 4 were thrilled with the news.
Construction on the new building is set to start at the beginning of next year, and should be complete by 2014.
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