Regents discuss clinic renovations

The proposed $2.7 million project would begin in December.

Alexi Gusso

A University of Minnesota Board of Regents committee discussed a potential $2.7 million renovation of the Community-University Health Care Clinic at its meeting last week.

The clinic, a training facility for University Medical School students, provides medical, dental and mental health care to about 12,000 patients and is expected to see an 8 percent increase in patients by 2013.

The renovations, funded primarily by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant, will include upgrading entrances to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, paving the currently gravel parking lot and installing a storm-water retention system.

The plan also includes laboratory renovations and upgrades to the ventilation system.

According to a regents committee report, the renovations are a part of the Twin Cities campus master plan, specifically the guiding principle of strengthening connections with nearby communities.

 “It’s a facility we have a great deal of interest in. It serves the University very well and really does need this work,” Dr. Aaron Friedman, dean of the Medical School, told the committee.

The clinic, opened in 1966, is located in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis and serves the diverse Powderhorn, Central, Longfellow and University neighborhoods of south Minneapolis.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the HHS, designated the area as “medically underserved” and as a “health professional shortage area.”

“This is an area that is, and will continue to be, medically underserved. To be quite honest, we are the primary care providers for that part of Minneapolis,” Friedman said.

The proposed renovations will allow the clinic to reach an additional 1,250 patients by 2013, Friedman said.

If approved, construction will begin in December and conclude in June 2013. Regents will make an official decision on the renovations at their October meeting.