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May 23, 2024

Community health center takes shape at former Puyallup icehouse

Photo via Community Health Care [enlarge]
This former icehouse in Puyallup is being transformed into a new community health center.

Construction is underway on the adaptive reuse of a historic former icehouse building in downtown Puyallup into a new community health center that will offer dental, medical and behavioral health services, plus an onsite pharmacy.

The 27,361-square-foot building is located at 201 W. Main St. It was built in 1906 and since then has been the location of an icehouse, a Valley Packing, and most recently a DSHS office. It has two levels plus a basement/garage.

The new Puyallup Health Clinic will be owned and operated by Community Health Care, which purchased the wood-framed building in 2022 for approximately $6.6 million. That purchase also included a two-level detached parking structure, with 160 stalls, which will provide ample space for future patient parking.

Community Health Care has served Pierce County residents since 1969. The organization currently has six medical clinics, four dental clinics, one school-based clinic, and a mobile unit.

Community Health says the integrated Puyallup Health Center will bring much needed services to the area and is anticipated to care for as many as 16,000 patients annually and to employ 70 full time staff members.

The center will provide care for East Pierce County's uninsured, underinsured, and low-income residents.

It will also house a large community meeting room with capacity for 30-50 people. That will be available to local groups seeking a location for events.

Seattle-based Miller Hayashi Architects has designed the adaptive reuse of the building. Aldrich + Associates of Bothell is the general contractor for the renovation. Construction began in August. The health center is slated to open in late 2024.

The building's interior is undergoing a significant transformation. The work scope includes selective abatement and demolition of structural, interior and MEP systems, new interior systems layout and finishes, new mechanical and electrical systems, new stairways, and utilities.

Improvements are also being made to the surrounding site plus selective upgrades to modernize the property's exterior envelope, which Aldrich + Associates says have been “thoughtfully designed to maintain the historical charm of the building.” The building's garage, a previously shelled basement, has been completely reimagined and will be the location of the pharmacy and a community outreach center.

The project team also includes Rock Project Management Services.

Estimated total project costs are $34 million (which includes the purchase of the building and site). Funding sources include low interest bonds, an approximately $1 million Federal Health Resources Service Grant, the state of Washington, Community Health Care reserves, and donations from private foundations and individuals and businesses and corporations.

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