Town gets $465,300 grant for new clinic

The Town of Kershaw has received a $465,300 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that will be used to renovate and expand the former Kershaw Community Health Education Center (K-CHEC) building and convert it into a clinic for CareNet.

CareNet, a Lancaster-based organization, provides medical care for low to moderateincome residents who either have no health insurance or are under-insured. This mission to help low to moderate-income people was the key to the town getting approved for the grant, according to Kershaw Town Administrator Tony Starnes.

“This is the first CDBG grant I can remember the town getting because we don’t qualify due to our income level,” Starnes said. “The fact the CareNet serves a low to moderate-income base and can prove it is why we got the grant.”

Lancaster County was a co-applicant on the grant because the new facility will serve this end of the county, including resident who live outside the Kershaw Town limits.

Starnes said the town has not yet received details on exactly how the money can be used. The original grant request was for $500,000 and it requires a 10 percent match from CareNet, which means the project was planned to cost a total of $550,000 originally.  The total will now be $511,830 including the matching funds. 

“We aren’t sure yet what they cut from the original request,” Starnes said.

In order to rework the interior of the building to add offices, examining rooms a waiting and space for a pharmacy; it will also be expanded by 10 to 12 feet in width its entire length. The parking lot and grounds of the property will also be landscaped.

Starnes said he is unsure when actual work will begin on the building because there is a lot to be taken care of before bids can be let on the project.

“They (CareNet) need to hire an architect and get precise drawings and specifications before they can seek bids,” he said. 

CareNet Director Clarence Carpenter first approached the town at the first of this year about possibly leasing the old KCHEC building on East Marion St. in order to open a clinic in Kershaw, citing a steady growth in clients from this end of the county using the Lancaster facility.

CareNet provides healthcare to people who can’t afford the established medical system through a combination of grants, donations, volunteer providers and partnerships with area hospitals and other medical facilities that allows access to high quality care.

Carpenter has said that he expects the new clinic to open to a healthy client base and enjoy steady growth based on his studies of the needs of the are.

While Starnes has pointed out that a lot must be done before bids for work on the building can be let, he hopes the clinic will be in operation by the end of the coming year.

By Jim McKeown Jr, Staff Reporter with Kershaw – The News Era