SYRACUSE — Syracuse Community Health is looking forward to next June when it anticipates moving into its new office building, currently under construction at 930 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
The location is just down the street from its current building. Syracuse Community Health (SCH) on Aug. 25 held a beam-raising ceremony at the construction site as work continues.
Syracuse Community Health is the rebranded name of the Syracuse Community Health Center, currently located at 819 S. Salina St.
“This project has been a long time coming,” Mark Hall, president and CEO of Syracuse Community Health, said to open his remarks at the Aug. 25 event.
Hall explained that 20 years ago, when Dr. Ruben Cowart was CEO and Hall was CFO, the organization bought the former Superior Electric property on which the new building is under construction. When Syracuse Community Health bought the property, the goal at the time was to construct a new building.
Its new brand identity, logo design, and website “reflects out deep roots in the community and our long-term commitment to serve them. The new tagline, ‘healthy happens here,’ offers a promise that people can get the patient care they need from Syracuse Community Health,” per an SCH news release.
The upcoming facility will replace the 70-year-old current office. It will join the organization’s already established SCH offices at 1938 E. Fayette St. and 603 Oswego St. in Syracuse.
The new building will be a 56,000-square-foot structure, which Hall describes as a “downsize” compared to the 78,000 square feet available at the current location.
“This will actually now allow us to see more patients than we actually see at [the] larger building,” Hall noted.
He went on to say that certain services will remain in the existing office, such as billing and information technology. The services that will stay there will get renamed psychiatric and substance-abuse services.
The existing building won’t be entirely full when the new location opens, so SCH intends to “reimagine” some of the space within the facility. Hall said. SCH will announce future plans for the existing building before the end of this year.
Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc. of Syracuse is the general contractor on the project, and King + King Architects, also based in Syracuse, designed the facility.
The new medical facility will have services that include primary care, dental services, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, eye care, podiatry, and administrative offices. The behavioral health and urgent-care center will remain at the current offices, which are for future renovation, per the release.
The SCH project, “when it’s all said and done,” will total about $23 million to $25 million, Hall noted.
A large portion of that will come from grant funding from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
“We received $19 million … [and $18 million] of that $19 million goes toward the building of this new building and then another million … $1.2 million is for our east side locations … renovations there,” he said.
“This community deserves this building,” New York State Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter (D–Syracuse) said in her remarks. “It’s been a long time coming but our community and the investment … it’s definitely worth it for the people who live and work here.”
Hunter told the gathering she previously worked at the Syracuse Community Health Center “for several years.”
In his remarks, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said Hunter has “seen the potential in this neighborhood for a long time and has been planting those seeds.” And now the community is “starting to those seeds grow.”
“If you haven’t noticed, we’ve had a number of groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings literally within one-block radius just over the past year,” Walsh noted, referring to the SCH project, the Salina 1st project, and the new headquarters and manufacturing facility for JMA Wireless.