Penobscot Community Health Care, the largest federally qualified health center in Maine, has completed its purchase of a multi-building complex in Belfast. The large property will allow PCHC to grow its busy local clinic while expanding services to meet growing community needs, the organization said today.
Work will begin soon to renovate and retrofit one of the 72,000 square-foot buildings to accommodate – and enlarge – Seaport Community Health Center, described as “bursting at the seams” by PCHC officials. New services, including dental care, will be added along with expanded space for mental and behavioral health and recovery programs. PCHC expects to work with other healthcare and social service providers to expand access to other needed community services throughout the seven-building campus.
“We’re excited to increase access to care in Waldo County,” said PCHC President and CEO Lori Dwyer. “This is a significant milestone for us, and for Belfast. In addition to expanding our primary care practice, we’ve been consulting with city and county officials to determine the most needed and appropriate uses, but we are considering offering a home to a wide range of services, including childcare, senior programs, and specialty healthcare.”
PCHC purchased the old Bank of America complex, consisting of seven buildings totaling 316,000 square feet on 142 acres of from Stag Industrial Holdings, LLC. The roughly $7-million purchase may also attract federal dollars designed to incentivize community development and economic growth.
Seaport Community Health Center currently operates at 53 Schoodic Drive, an 11,800 square-foot building, and needs to more than double its size to meet current and anticipated needs. Currently, the center offers primary care, including pediatric, adult and geriatric care integrated with mental health, primary care pharmacy, walk-in care, recovery, social work, and care management services to approximately 8,000 patients. The new building for the practice provides 72,000 square feet on two floors.
“This increased space allows us to think creatively and expansively about how we provide those services,” Dwyer said.
The complex was originally built as a call center from 1997-2000 by MBNA, a credit card company acquired by Bank of America. Bank of America has reduced its occupancy to one building and a portion of another and will continue to lease that space from PCHC.