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Altoona Plan Commission gives green light to Prevea Health proposal

Monday, August 13, 2018
Katy Macek | WQOW

ALTOONA - With the Plan Commission's positive recommendation to approve a site plan, Woodman's Market in River Prairie could soon have a new neighbor. 

Prevea Health recently bought property on the southwest corner of the development site to open a new clinic, and the Plan Commission at its Monday meeting unanimously agreed to recommend approval of site plans and a certified survey map for the location. 

City Mayor Brendan Pratt said the clinic would be a great addition to River Prairie, and Prevea Health has already become involved in the community through sponsoring events such as the new Rock'N on the River Summer Concert Series on Wednesdays at the River Prairie Park amphitheater. 

"We're really excited they are coming in - they're a great addition for us and an active community partner already," Pratt said. 

According to the site plan, the 32,000-square-foot clinic will comprise two stories on an approximately 4½-acre lot. Services to be provided include: laboratory, radiology, neurology, pain and spine, urgent care, internal medicine, ear, nose and throat, OB-GYN, primary care and rotating specialists. The clinic is in partnership with HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Pratt said, and would offer services parallel to that hospital. 

On weekends and after business hours, Pratt said, the company has agreed to allow public parking in its lot. It also will extend the walkway from the entrance of their property to connect with the soon-to-be-constructed public, multi-use trail that currently ends behind Cowboy Jack's restaurant across the highway. City planner Joshua Clements said the extension of that pathway underneath River Prairie Drive is expected to be completed this fall.

Site plans also include an unspecified 15,000-square-foot second phase, which Clements said would be added at an undetermined future date. This Prevea Health clinic would not provide emergency room services on site.

Steve Srubas, an associate architect with Berners-Schober, the company that created the Prevea Health plans, said the clinic's facade is consistent with other Prevea Health clinics such as the ones in Mondovi, Rice Lake, Eau Claire, Menomonie and Ladysmith. 

"It's their architectural brand, as it were, not unlike a Kwik Trip or a McDonald's," Srubas said at the meeting. "They have around 50 sites across the state. They take a lot of pride in (their look)." 

He added, since his company has worked with the health clinic, Prevea has seen a huge growth margin in the state. 

The clinic is the first development to join Woodman's Market on the River Prairie development's west side of River Prairie Drive, but Pratt said it won't be the last. He said plans are "in the works" for a couple of projects. 

A public hearing about Prevea Health's plan is scheduled for the council's Aug. 23 meeting. If all goes well, Pratt said, the hope is for them to start construction as early as this fall. 

Contact: 715-833-9214, katy.macek@ecpc.com, @KatherineMacek on Twitter

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