Charlottesville Free Clinic/Health Department Proposal




Request Board approval for the Charlottesville Free Clinic to proceed with plans to modify/renovate the Health Department building to expand the Free Clinic




Messrs. Tucker, Elliott and Davis; and Dr. Peake






January 7, 2009


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   











On December 6, 2006 the Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to the Charlottesville Free Clinic (CFC) to initiate a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of constructing a new 12,600 square foot building on County and City jointly owned property adjacent to the Health Department.  The City retained a local architectural firm to examine this option and the CFC staff, in conjunction with County, City and Health Department representatives determined that the property was not capable of supporting such a facility.  Following this evaluation, CFC continued to explore other building and site options in the City for development of a new and expanded facility; however, CFC was unable to secure a viable alternative.  With the local CHIP (Comprehensive Health Investment Project) attaining its non-profit status earlier this year and vacating approximately 2,800 square feet of space in the Health Department building, an opportunity now exists for CFC to assume this office area to meet and expand its program needs.


The CFC was founded in 1992 to provide high quality health care to working people without health insurance or access to free care elsewhere. The founding CFC Board of Directors initially hoped that an increase in viable health insurance options would allow the CFC to close its doors within 5 years, although the CFC is now in its sixteenth year of operation with annually increasing demand for services.  In 1997, the County and City agreed to allow the CFC Board to construct, at its sole cost, a 1,400 square foot second floor addition to the Health Department building which is jointly owned by the City and County.   The CFC also utilizes the Health Department dental and medical clinic spaces, including some waiting areas, in the evenings when the space is not being used by the Health Department.  The CFC and Health Department have a license agreement for the use of the shared space whereby the CFC pays a percentage of the utilities and maintenance based on usage and square footage. This arrangement has been extremely beneficial to the community and has been an effective and efficient use of public medical space.



Goal 1: Enhance the Quality of Life for County Residents



The CFC proposes to fund all costs of renovations to the Health Department building, generally estimated to be $400,000, to provide the CFC additional space.  Approximately 2,800 square feet of office space which previously housed CHIP personnel would be renovated. It is envisioned that the project will accommodate the space needs of CFC for the next 5-10 years and will achieve the following:


With approval of the City and County, CFC will submit a bid package to three local contractors in the 1st quarter of 2009 and complete all work in a phased manner primarily during non-operational hours for both the Health Department and the Free Clinic so as to minimize construction impacts. It is estimated that the project will take 3-6 months to complete.


The City and County jointly own the Health Department building and property and lease it to the Health Department pursuant to a 1995 Deed of Lease.  Currently it is a year to year lease.  The Lease authorizes the Health Department to license the CFC to occupy 1,426 square feet on the second floor of the building. 


The CFC wants assurance from the Health Department that it can occupy the expanded space for at lease five years.  To address this request, the City, County and Health Department will need to modify the 1995 Deed of Lease to extend the term beyond a year to year lease and to authorize the additional space to be available for use by the CFC.  At such time as this amended lease is finalized, it will be brought back to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.



There should be no financial impact to the County as the result of these building renovations as CFC will utilize private donations to complete this work.  CFC will continue to seek County and City financial assistance through the Agency Budget Review Team (ABRT) process to partially fund its annual operating expenses.  Moreover, both the Health Department and CFC are requesting that the City and County reallocate its existing funding for the Dental Clinic from the Health Department to CFC effective fiscal year 2010.  These transfers and funding requests are currently programmed and accounted for in the County’s 5-year financial plan.



Staff recommends that the Board grant approval of the CFC Board’s request to proceed with its plan to renovate the existing Health Department building to accommodate its medical clinic and pharmacy as well as assume operation of the Dental clinic in general accordance with the November 2008 floor plans developed by the architectural firm of Daggett and Grigg of Charlottesville (Attachment A).  It is further recommended that staff be authorized to proceed with development of a new lease with the Health Department to extend the term of its current Deed of Lease and allow for occupancy of additional space by CFC.  The amended lease will be brought back for Board consideration at a future meeting.



A – Proposed Floor Plan

B – CFC Proposal

C – City/County Summary

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