Officials from the Port Arthur health department were scheduled to meet with Sigma engineers from Beaumont on Tuesday as the city continues with its relocation plans.
However, a member of the municipal council asks the City to accelerate this project and other planned projects.
“Maybe it’s just me,” Councilman Cal Jones said at a recent council meeting. “In recent years, everything is still in the planning or drawing board stage. The animal shelter, the streets, the parks – we’ve been doing this stuff for too long. These projects sit too long. I’m tired of discussing this at every board meeting.
In December 2020, city council approved spending of $ 4.5 million to renovate the former Texas Health and Human Services offices on 9th Avenue into a new health department. The city bought the building the same month for $ 1.6 million.
The facility, built in 1995, will expand the health department as it has approximately 41,000 square feet indoors and 62,000 square feet of parking space.
And because of her different inputs, health director Judith Smith previously said Port Arthur Newsmedia, it will allow customers easier access and more privacy when visiting different parts of the department.
The facility provides residents of southern and central county with primary health care, sexually transmitted diseases, environmental health, immunization, vital statistics, and services for women, infants and women. children (WIC), among others.
The new facility will also include a gym and COVID vaccination clinic to separate it from other vaccinations.
Currently, COVID vaccines are administered at the Texas Artist’s Museum, 3501 Cultural Center Drive.
Deputy City Manager Pamela Langford said the COVID clinic addition would be built with the city dollars received due to the pandemic.
Right now, Sigma is in the architectural drawing and construction phase, which is about 65% complete, Langford said. The expected completion date is next month. Then there would be tenders for construction in January, with the intention to start the following month.
However, there is one factor that could increase the project from its approved $ 4.5 million.
“One of the national and global concerns is the cost of materials and how (they) continue to rise,” Langford told board members. “So if there are any delays in construction, that would probably be it. A $ 4.5 million project could double or triple if the cost of materials continues to rise.
The current location at 449 Austin Avenue was purchased by Motiva Enterprises as part of its downtown revitalization plan. In October of last year, Motiva and Port Arthur reached an 18-month agreement allowing the City to move forward with renovations to the site. After this 18 month period, the City would start renting the building to Motiva.
“I know the city manager is in constant talks with Motiva regarding our plans and our move,” Langford said. “He will continue to negotiate with Motiva if we go ahead and exceed the 18 month lease.”