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Next steps for the opening of a new medical clinic in Palisade

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – As previously reported, the space where the old Palisade High School is located is the future site of the new community hospital medical clinic. Tuesday evening during the meeting of the board of directors of the Town of Palisade, the council approved a contract for the demolition of the old high school as well as the approval of an architectural firm.

“This end of the valley has not had direct medical services for almost 20 years,” Palisade Mayor Greg Mikolai said. “So right now the medical services for that end of the valley, the closest is almost 10 miles away. So that alone is of great benefit to this community.

The city of Palisade and the community hospital have joined forces for this project. The plan is for the demolition of the old Palisade high school. The town of Palisade will build the clinic and the community hospital plans to lease it for a 10-year lease with renewals every five years. The whole school will be demolished. But the gymnasium will be renovated and will remain separate from the clinic and function as a community recreation center.

“Our plan for Palisade is to have a family medicine clinic with three doctors to start with,” said Chris Thomas, CEO of the community hospital. “And also an emergency service that will be open seven days a week, 12 hours a day, so we will be available for walk-in visits. So you don’t have to travel all the way to Grand Junction to the emergency room. So it will be a combination.

Chris Thomas went on to say that most healthcare in Grand Valley has shifted west, but half of Grand Valley’s population is east of 12th Street.

“We have a clinic at 28 1/4 and Patterson,” Thomas said. “It’s the easternmost place where anyone has a clinic. We have a clinic at 12th Street, but it will really be the only clinic on this side of the valley. Now with the Palisade Plunge and all the great things going on at Palisade, that urgent care is going to be a big deal as well. We will have imaging, a full lab, full imaging.

Asbestos mitigation is currently underway. Demolition will begin later this month with DC Contracting and will be completed by the end of March. The architectural firm MOA architects was approved today and will begin planning, design and project management shortly.

“The emergency care that will be provided by this clinic will be of great benefit not only to the citizens of Palisade, but also to our visitors who enjoy the dive, hopefully safe,” said Mikolai. “But in case anything happens, they’ll have emergency care services available right at the bottom of the trail.”

Construction will begin this spring once the demolition is complete. Doctors have been selected and the clinic is expected to be completed and open in January 2023, within a year.

Although the project is still moving forward, fundraising efforts are still underway to collect the rest of the money. Anyone wishing to make a donation is encouraged to contact the Palisade City Manager.

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