DANBURY, Conn. -- The final beam was hoisted into place Monday at the future site of the Greater Danbury Community Health Center's new location on Main Street.
Representatives from the Connecticut Institute for Communities and Verdi Construction gathered at the site of the future center and office for a topping-off ceremony. They celebrated as the final piece of the building's steel skeleton was raised into place.
Participants in the construction project and development team signed the steel beam, which was adorned with an American flag and a Christmas tree, and watched as it was placed at the top of the building.
The new community health center will be located at 120 Main St., the former site of the Danbury police station and Danbury High School. It will operated by CIFC, which operates the Greater Danbury Community Health Center at its current location at 57 North St. The community health center opened in 2010 and provides medical, dental and mental health services to the public, with an emphasis on those who have limited or no insurance.
“When we started, Danbury was the largest city in the state of Connecticut that did not have a community health center," said James Maloney, president and CEO of CIFC. The Greater Danbury Health Center began in rented space, but has grown steadily and needed a space of its own, he said.
The health center will include public services on the first floor, such as a pharmacy, an office for women and infant children, insurance enrollment and other health services. The second floor will be dedicated to pediatric and adolescent medicine and behavioral health. The third floor will have space for women’s health, including wellness and OB/GYN services. The top floor will be used for administrative and finance offices.
In addition to the community health center, CIFC has also rented space down the street at 70 Main St. that will be dedicated to adult services and dental services. Behind the community health center will be a building with 79 units of elderly housing.
The Greater Danbury Community Health Center provides services for Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Bridgewater, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman.
The project broke ground in July and is expected to be completed next fall. Maloney said he was happy to see the final beam put into place on Monday.
“It is a real milestone. The organization, the staff and the board have been working on this for now a total of more than three years, and this is something we’ve all been looking forward to for a long time, and this is a real marker of the progress that we’ve made," Maloney said.
“You get a sort of sense of the scale of the building and its significance, not only for our organization, but also for Main Street and downtown economic development.”
Richard Molinaro, vice chair of the CIFC Board of Directors, said that when it is completed the community health center will provide a valuable service to people in the community who need it. He also praised the work and vision of Maloney in making the new center a reality.
“That’s why we’re all here, to help him with his vision, which in the long run is going to help so many people," Molinaro said.
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