GARDINER — Officials at MaineGeneral Medical Center are making plans to open a new express care center later this year with construction of the facility nearing completion.

Paul Stein, chief operating officer for MaineGeneral, said an open house is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 2, and on Monday, Oct. 7, the facility is scheduled to be open for business.

The leased building will house Gardiner Family Medicine as well as laboratory and imaging facilities for X-rays, bone density tests and mammograms.

The hospital is also adding MaineGeneral Express Care in Gardiner. It will operate the same way as the express care offices in Augusta and Waterville, as an open access clinic for people with minor injuries and illnesses when their primary care provider is not available.

“There will be no ambulances at this facility,” Stein said, noting that express care and urgent or emergency care are two different things.

And with the space at the the new building, he said both MaineGeneral Orthopaedics and Workplace Health will be able to offer services several days a week over time.

“We’ve designed the building so it’s flexible and certainly large enough,” he said.

The location works for MaineGeneral because it’s not too far from downtown Gardiner, Stein said, and it’s easily accessible from Brunswick Avenue and exit 49 on Interstate 295.

“We feel really good about this location,” he said, “because not only is it pretty accessible for our current Gardiner patients in that community, but if you look, it’s closer to Richmond and Litchfield. As you start going a little bit west, there are not a lot of opportunities (for health care).”

Hospital officials have started their outreach efforts for the new facility. Joy McKenna, director of marketing and communications for MaineGeneral, said the hospital was setting up a booth at Friday’s concert in Waterfront Park, the final show of the summer-long series of concerts put on by Johnson Hall to talk to residents about the services that will be offered and when they will be available.

Initially, hospital officials had considered a site at the northwest corner of Bridge and Summer streets, just outside Gardiner’s historic downtown, and signed a letter of intent in 2015 to locate a facility there.

That parcel is one of the former T.W. Dick sites that the city of Gardiner acquired with plans to redevelop. City officials had acquired four parcels that had been owned by the former steel fabricator and pieced together funding from state and federal sources to clean up the contaminants that had been found there. Summer Street runs along Cobbosseecontee Stream, which has been the site of industrial uses for two centuries.

That letter of intent helped secure funds to clean up industrial pollution on the site, but over time, even with the addition of an adjacent parcel on Highland Avenue, it became clear that that location would not offer enough parking.

Central Maine Crossing, a 22.8-acre business subdivision, located not far from the Libby Hill Business Park, and is owned by Greg Farris, an attorney, and Steve McGee, owner of Steven McGee Construction. Kevin Mattson is the developer.

While most of MaineGeneral’s operations will move to Brunswick Avenue, Stein said the Alzheimer’s Care Center will remain on Dresden Avenue.

Hospital officials are working to sell the property and have met with Gardiner city government officials to talk about what options are available for the property.

 

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