Leaders of Rockbridge County health center re-examine expansion plans

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LEXINGTON, Va. The Rockbridge Area Health Center in Lexington served more than three thousand insured, uninsured, and low income patients last year and that number is rising.

They plan to use a million dollar grant to renovate and expand, but recently ran into a hiccup.

CEO Suzanne Sheridan says their initial estimates were at a little more than a million dollars, but recent final estimates are double that amount.

"We were disappointed," said Sheridan. "But it was also an opportunity for us to really look at the community and we've decided then to develop more of a master plan."

She said that master plan will help them figure out the needs of the facility over the next few years.

"Is it going to meet the changing needs and the requirements in the medical world, the equipment that's changing, the technology that's advancing?" said Sheridan.

On top of that, they're re-thinking what kind of changes they should make to the building for the most efficient use of the grant.

"Will it be more affordable to renovate the existing building or if building another facility an option for us?" said Sheridan. "That's part of what we need to assess."

Sheridan said they're carefully thinking about the future of the project and will plan a campaign to raise fund once things are in full motion.

"It's sort of a lemons, lemonade, half full, half empty question and I think its given us the motivation to really step back and make that assessment," said Sheridan.