Clinic facilities

Public Expresses Concerns About New Spectrum Health Clinic

BIG RAPIDS TOWNSHIP – Spectrum Health has moved closer to establishing a new clinic in Big Rapids Township.

The Big Rapids Township Planning Commission approved plans for the project site at its meeting this week, subject to receiving updated and revised plans.

Spectrum Health West Michigan announced plans in January to build a 33,000-square-foot facility to house the Big Rapids Family Practice Clinic, as well as outpatient rehabilitation, occupational health, laboratory services, and patient care. emergency.

Spectrum is purchasing the land south of Menard’s on 215th Avenue in Big Rapids Township for construction of the new facility and possible future expansion, a representative for the organization said. The project is part of a $151 million investment by Spectrum Health to expand its outpatient services and provide increased access to primary and specialty care in West Michigan.

David Burd, planning and design architect for Spectrum Health, said moving there will reserve the Oak Street campus for hospital-related patients and traffic.

“It’s a big step for Spectrum to keep care close to home in Big Rapids and the surrounding community,” he told a public hearing on the plans. “The efficient layout will improve the patient experience and staff flow, while providing flexibility for future site expansion.”

At the public meeting for a special land use permit application for the project in February, residents of the area expressed concerns about the impact of construction on neighboring properties.

Resident Jean Cousineau said she was concerned about stormwater drainage because Winter’s Creek passes under 215th Avenue and flows toward her property.

Project manager for Wade Trim Architects, Veronica Clark, said there are two drainage retention ponds which channel water to the wetlands at the southwest corner of the property.

Others expressed concerns about increased traffic in the area, to which Spectrum Health’s planning and design architect responded that they expected 20-30 staff per day with no more than 200 patients throughout the day.

“This facility will ease parking and traffic congestion on the main Oak Street campus,” Burd said. “Most employees in the new location will be moving from the main Spectrum campus.”

The Special Use Permit was approved at the February meeting, however, the site plan was on file until further information could be provided to planners addressing concerns expressed and approvals from the Department of fire, sewer commissioner, public works and other public services could provide.

During the meeting this week, Clark told planners that the plans had been sent to the county and they had received stormwater approval and fire marshal approval.

“The public works department said we should consider going from a three-inch water pipe to a four-inch pipe, but that was their only comment,” Clark said. “They send the approval of the plans. Our revised plans will be submitted to you after this meeting. I wanted to hear some news about stormwater and the city before submitting it to you. »

Mike Oezer, an engineer at ProgressiveAE, told planners that he would like to take a look at the revised plans to make sure they addressed all the concerns that were raised, but that from a technical perspective , the plans for the project look really good.

“I was asking for a little more info on the utilities along this Menard road, just off 215th, to show a little more specifically where the water and sewer is,” he said. declared. “There was a slight change coming out of the ditch. But these things were pretty minor.

Oezer suggested that they approve the site plan subject to receiving and reviewing the revised plans, which the planners agreed to.

“We look forward to your addition to the community,” said Township Administrator Carmen Bean. “I think it will do a great service.”

The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.