NCNM Campus Expansion Update – Feb. 5, 2009

While there are promising signs on the distant horizon, the state of our economy is no small matter. It continues to have a major impact on all of us. Recently Dr. Schleich explained that while NCNM is financially sound, the unanticipated weak economic climate has impacted our budget projections, creating a cash-flow crunch. Declining quarterly revenues—clinic visits, CE classes and charitable donations—have caused some cost-cutting measures in a number of areas, including personnel changes.

Despite the economic turmoil, however, plans are still under way to expand our campus with the new integrated clinic on Corbett Street—but in a modified design format. Keeping one eye on cash flow and the other on the security and strength of our teaching, patient care and research mission, we are approaching the new design and expansion plans in stages.

We’ve reduced the initial scope of work to stay within strict budgetary parameters while still meeting a July 1, 2009, move-in date for Pettygrove Clinic operations. But while we must be fiscally prudent, the clinic of our dreams is still on the radar screen. Once we receive a significant contribution—and we will—we’ll leap ahead with a full remodel.

There’s been a lot of growth on our campus just in the past year— newly remodeled classrooms, library and bathroom, an expansion and remodel of the anatomy lab, and a new administrative building and outdoor pavilion.

This next stage has already begun and many of you have been part of it. Following last fall’s, community blessing of the Corbett Street property, and the clinic design charrette with architectural firm Henneberry Eddy, we’ve had many other meetings to keep remodeling plans aligned with our changing financial picture.

Here’s a quick snap shot of what’s new:

Floor Plan:
The original clinic floor plan build-out—the “dream vision”—is now taking place in increments. After downsizing the plan and our expectations a few times to contain costs, it’s gone from an estimated $2 million for the original plan to a $500,000 basic, scaled-back version. Cost reductions focus on square footage. This means that we’ll decrease the amount of remodeled floor space for use when we assume occupancy on July 1. There may be fewer treatment rooms and no break rooms, for example.

We’re not cutting costs when it comes to the quality of materials, finishes or energetic flow of the space, though. The entryway, lobby, and reception area will be as attractive, professional, and welcoming as originally planned. We’ve also enlisted the aid of a Feng Shui designer to work with the architects on the clinic design.

As the financial climate changes over time and money becomes available, we’ll reintroduce the plan’s original elements in later stages. In the end, nothing will be lost or compromised——it’ll just take a little longer to get there.

Susan Hunter’s Advancement team has brought two significant donations to the table. Miller Paint has donated all of the paint for this project, interior and exterior, totaling nearly $50,000 worth of high-quality low VOC paint products! We’ve also had a generous gift from the Zidell family ear-marked to create the Min Zidell Community Garden in the area adjoining the clinic’s west wall to honor their mother. Many thanks to Miller Paint and the Zidell family!

Bid Process:
In the next couple weeks, the architects will take our final version of modified design plans and send them to contractors for bid requests. We anticipate this process will be completed sometime in March.

We are still shooting for groundbreaking and new construction for the building and the adjacent parking lot to begin sometime in mid-late March. Plan design on the Min Zidell Garden has not yet been finalized.

Move-In Dates:
Pettygrove is still slated for a July move into the new clinic. They’ll occupy remodeled areas on the first and second floors. Natural Health Center (aka First Avenue), has “for sale” signs, in case you missed them. We will not vacate the First Avenue premises until the building is sold. Bear in mind that this is a slow market and OHSU now has medical offices on the market, as well, so we anticipate the sale may take longer than originally expected.

The property called “the little Red House” (an 1890 Victorian home located on Water Street, across from the Corbett Street clinic property), has been under renovation for several months. The remodel of this quaint little building is expected to be finished in mid-February. We bought the building at a very favorable price last year with the intention of remodeling it and using it as a rental property.

Watch for the next installment of NCNM’s Campus Update!