Doctors at the Family Health Clinic in Ponoka are moving to a new home.
The eight doctors in Ponoka are moving to the old medical centre by Hamilton’s IGA sometime before the end of 2016 after a major expansion is done to the building.
Jim Hamilton, owner of IGA, confirmed he is adding 5,000 square feet of medical offices to the southeast side parking lot to support the space requirements of the move. This will give the shopping centre a ‘U’ shape.
Part of the deal includes a purchase by Cash Foods — owned by the Hamilton family — of the town’s parking lot just east of the Kinsmen Community Centre.
The deal was discussed Tuesday, March 22 during council’s regular meeting and a motion was made after an in-camera discussion stating that the sale price will be negotiated with an appraiser acceptable to both parties. The motion adds that the town has first right of refusal if the land is sold and that Cash Foods is on the hook for a $250,000 penalty, plus the cost of the land, should the move not occur.
Hamilton said the parking lot will remain that way to accommodate the doctors’ and patient parking and that the southeast vehicle entrance will be removed to make way for the addition. “We would hope to be open before Christmas,” he explained.
When asked about the penalty, Hamilton said there was some concern from council that the space would not be used for parking. Council wanted some guarantee it would remain a parking lot.
“As long as the recreation centre’s being used as a recreation centre, it will continue to be a parking lot,” confirmed Hamilton.
Dr. Greg Chan, speaking on behalf of the Family Health Clinic doctors, said the goal is to be able to add to the physicians roster. “The plan is we are moving to a new location that will enable us to recruit new physicians.”
“It’s something that we are really excited about,” he added.
The move will accommodate the eight doctors currently operating in town and potential for more. He added that nothing will change regarding the services the clinic currently offers.