Altura Centers for Health finally broke ground on decade long project for their health center campus in Tulare
TULARE – Altura Centers for Health have had a dream of owning their own center for several years and that dream is soon to become a reality. Altura executives gathered with members of the community for a groundbreaking event early on Friday morning at their new location on Hillman and Cartmill in Tulare.
On the morning of Friday, May 20, members of the community, board members, the Tulare city manager and several others joined Altura Centers for Health on the corner of Hillman and Cartmill in Tulare to dig their shovels where a new health care center will be.
“We’re so excited to finally be starting construction, we purchased the first six acres back in 2009,” Dawn Wells, the Chief Project Office for Altura, said. “It’s been a dream of ours for so long, so for all of us, we are just really grateful.”
This ceremony celebrated the start of construction for the first of three phases. Wells said this project allows them the ability to expand and accommodate more patients and hire more providers. The three new buildings will include a pediatrics, OB-GYN and an administrative building and is scheduled to be finished by next summer. In addition to the three buildings in Phase 1, the parking lots will also be completed to allow for parking of company vehicles.
The 14,886 square foot pediatric building will have 38 rooms providing pediatric primary care, pediatric cardiology consults, optometry-for children and their families- and breastfeeding support. This building will also have covered play areas for children. Wells said the Tulare City School District informed Altura Health that in some cases children on medi-cal have to wait up to six months for an optometry appointment. Shocked by this information, the decision was made to swap dentistry and optometry because of the high demand, “How can you even succeed in school if you cannot see the board?” Wells said.
In addition to pediatrics, a 14,836 square foot OB-GYN building will have 31 rooms. Wells said in the OB-GYN building, “we provide reproductive health care here, and also our comprehensive Perinatal Services program for pregnant women, they get prenatal care counseling.” There will also be an outdoor waiting and play area.
This new campus will also have a 12,160 square foot administration building. This building will house a board room, meeting and training rooms, the billing department, information technology department and administrative members of the management team. “We will be able to consolidate under one roof, so it is exciting,” Wells said.
Because of the magnitude of this project, Wells said Phase 3 may not be completed for an additional 20 years, but everyone is grateful to have been able to break ground and get the ball rolling. Phase 2 includes the dental suite followed by a two story family medicine, internal medicine and specialty care unit in Phase 3.
Wells said there have only been a few minor setbacks in the process, one being the pandemic that slowed down the process for a period of time. Additionally, before construction began, biologists surveyed the land at the beginning of the month and discovered two Horned Lark nests. A buffer zone had to be created to allow for the safety of the Larks until their eggs hatch and leave the nest. Wells said that biologists expect that should occur any day now. Once the birds have taken flight, the remainder of their property will be leveled as well.
The architect for the project is Roger Hurtado of Centerline Design, LLC. and the General Contractor is Legacy Construction.