Derby Public Schools will continue to work on a $500,000 grant that, if awarded, will add a 4,500 square foot health clinic to Oaklawn Elementary.
The district was approached by GraceMed Health Clinic to consider applying for the cooperative grant that would allow a school-based health clinic to be constructed on district property near Oaklawn Elementary.
“We thought it was worthy of pursuing as a grant opportunity for our community and students and the families that live in that area,” said Derby Public Schools Superintendent Craig Wilford. “There will be no cost to the district. If the cost is above $500,000, and we expect that to happen, GraceMed will use multiple avenues to raise those additional funds. They will be responsible for the cost of the facility.”
An estimated cost of the clinic would be $850,000, which includes $50,000 for architectural and engineering fees, $62,000 for site work and $25,000 for contingencies and miscellaneous costs. The remaining $738,000 will be for construction. After the $500,000 grant, GraceMed would be responsible for the remaining $375,000.
The district will not be required to pay for any construction and will own the building after completion. In return, the district will lease the building to GraceMed for a minimal fee. The district will be required to pay utilities, insurance and general upkeep of the building, Wilford said.
“Once we build a school-based clinic, we can sustain operations from year to year and there would be no request for Derby Public Schools to provide any funding whatsoever,” said Dave Sanford, CEO of GraceMed Health Clinic.
Once completed, the health clinic will house two medical practitioners and one dental hygienist. It would be the responsibility of GraceMed to provide medical and support staff.
Currently, GraceMed has four faith-based non-profit health clinics in collaboration with Wichita Public Schools. Sanford said the Oaklawn area has a need for a similar school-based clinic. The clinic will not be limited to families with students who attend Oaklawn Elementary. The clinic is open to anyone, and will be in close proximity to Derby’s Cooper Elementary and Wichita’s White Elementary, Sanford said.
“The clinic would be open to anyone who walks in,” Sanford said. “Our primary focus would be low income children that are either uninsured or insured through the state insurance program, to make sure they have access to care. Those are the children whose families have a very difficult time accessing care through private practices, because they don’t have private insurance.”
The federal grant is due July 24. The district will be notified by Dec. 1 if it will be awarded the grant. If the district and GraceMed receive the grant, they will have until Nov. 30, 2014 to construct the clinic.
Oaklawn Elementary is one of the first schools in the district scheduled for bond renovations. The renovations will likely be postponed up to four months until the district is awarded the grant, allowing bidding for construction of the health clinic and the renovations to the school to be done together, Wilford said.
“We are still in conversations about what is going to be the best fit for the school, community and health-based clinic. The potential exists that they could be attached,” Wilford said. “Our intent is to build this either adjacent to Oaklawn Elementary or within the area of Oaklawn Elementary. There is a potential it would delay us moving forward with Oaklawn Elementary (bond renovations) until we receive approval of this grant.”
The school’s size and function will not be changed if the clinic is attached, nor will the new renovation plans be altered.
“No part of the bond space will be compromised in any way,” said Tom Snodgrass, director of operations for the school district.
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