-By Joseph Domelowicz
A spokesman for the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center said this week that the health centerâ€™s leadership still expects the new Winthrop primary care facility to be opened by the end of the calendar year. The opening is still slated for December despite a change of direction in the project.
â€œBasically, weâ€™re looking at a timeline that, because of the changes to the design, will actually be quicker and the Health Center still envisions completion of the facility by the end of the year,â€ explained David Ball of Ball Consulting Group, the professional media relations firm retained by East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Ball also released architectural renderings of what the newly renovated building at 10-26 Somerset Avenue will look like when completed, as well as an historic photo that showed theÂ buildingâ€™s previous luster as a vibrant commercial space.
â€œThe project to develop a health center on the property was already permitted (in December),but the change from demolition to reuse of the building will actually be less impact to the neighborhood and so, my understanding is that the health center and the architects will really be looking to make a change to what was permitted,â€ said Ball.
Ball added that EBNHCÂ doesn’tÂ as yet have a newÂ construction timeline, since theÂ Health CenterÂ has not yet obtainedÂ the revisedÂ permits.â€œIn terms of the entireÂ project itÂ is a less complicatedÂ construction project, and easily manageable â€œhe said. â€œHowever, there are a number of thingsÂ that haveÂ to be resolved before theyÂ can release a newÂ constructions schedule, such as the permits, but this is not expected to beÂ a lengthyÂ process.â€
East BostonÂ Neighborhood HealthÂ Center actuallyÂ received permitsÂ to demolish theÂ existing buildingÂ and develop a new health center on theÂ site inÂ December. However,Â higher thanÂ expected construction bids, coupled with EBNHCâ€™s desireÂ to proceedÂ in the mostÂ sustainable wayÂ possible led the non-profit healthÂ provider to reconsiderÂ the demolitionÂ of the buildingÂ and lookÂ at the possibility ofÂ renovation instead.
The end result, as can beÂ seen inÂ the artistâ€™s rendering, is aÂ renewedÂ building withÂ larger windowsÂ and space for a 7,600square foot state of the artÂ primary healthÂ care facility and nearly3,000 square feet ofÂ additional spaceÂ for other commercial tenants.