Different Diagnosis, Same Prognosis

Friday, May 20, 2011
By Transcript Staff

-By Joseph Domelowicz

The artist’s rendering above shows what the new East Boston Neighborhood Health Center facility at 10-26 Somerset Avenue might look like if the revamped project can be permitted in time.

A spokesman for the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center said this week that the health center’s leadership still expects the new Winthrop primary care facility to be opened by the end of the calendar year. The opening is still slated for December despite a change of direction in the project.

“Basically, we’re looking at a timeline that, because of the changes to the design, will actually be quicker and the Health Center still envisions completion of the facility by the end of the year,” explained David Ball of Ball Consulting Group, the professional media relations firm retained by East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Ball also released architectural renderings of what the newly renovated building at 10-26 Somerset Avenue will look like when completed, as well as an historic photo that showed the building’s previous luster as a vibrant commercial space.

“The project to develop a health center on the property was already permitted (in December),but the change from demolition to reuse of the building will actually be less impact to the neighborhood and so, my understanding is that the health center and the architects will really be looking to make a change to what was permitted,” said Ball.

Ball added that EBNHC doesn’t as yet have a new construction timeline, since the Health Center has not yet obtained the revised permits.“In terms of the entire project it is a less complicated construction project, and easily manageable “he said. “However, there are a number of things that have to be resolved before they can release a new constructions schedule, such as the permits, but this is not expected to be a lengthy process.”

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center actually received permits to demolish the existing building and develop a new health center on the site in December. However, higher than expected construction bids, coupled with EBNHC’s desire to proceed in the most sustainable way possible led the non-profit health provider to reconsider the demolition of the building and look at the possibility of renovation instead.

The end result, as can be seen in the artist’s rendering, is a renewed building with larger windows and space for a 7,600square foot state of the art primary health care facility and nearly3,000 square feet of additional space for other commercial tenants.

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