Contractors work Thursday morning on Philomath Family Medicine’s new building on the west end of town. The Corvallis Clinic said there are hopes for patients to begin going to their appointments at the new site on Sept. 11. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath Family Medicine’s relocation from an aging building in the middle of town to a new facility on the west end is expected to happen toward the end of the summer with hopes for patients to start going to appointments at the site in mid-September.

Amber Alexander, Philomath Family Medicine supervisor, also said The Corvallis Clinic’s game plan after the move is to bring in another primary care doctor.

“The providers over here are just excited to be able to grow because they see the need for it here,” Alexander said. “I think they’re just overly excited to get into that building and get another provider hired and kind of be able to take a deep breath and not feel like they’re overwhelmed.”

Alexander said the hope is for the new office to be open and seeing patients on Sept. 11. A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Oct. 10.

The building that will be new to the clinic was constructed in 2017 as a manufacturing facility, restaurant and taproom for Nectar Creek, a meadery that after closing in 2019, reorganized in the following months through a partnership with 2 Towns Ciderhouse. Heritage Natural Finishes, a wood-finishing business, then occupied the building for a stretch before moving to Corvallis.

“It’s been vacant for quite a while and then The Corvallis Clinic purchased it — I want to say at least a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago,” Anderson said. “We’ve slowly been making plans and trying to get ourselves in there.”

One of the big reasons for wanting to make the move simply comes down to demand.

“We can’t keep up with the growth … our providers, their schedules are so booked out that it’s hard for us to get patients in,” Alexander said. “So going to the bigger facility and being able to bring on another provider, I think will help so much.”

This rendering shows how the building will look when completed. (Image provided by The Corvallis Clinic)

Philomath Family Medicine opened its doors at 1219 Applegate St., in the fall of 1977 when Drs. David Cutsforth and David Grube came to town through the National Health Service Corps and the efforts of a nonprofit group called Philomath Rural Family Health Care. In 1993, the local operation merged with The Corvallis Clinic.

The Corvallis Clinic does not own the current building. County tax records list the owner as Salem-based Avery Investments Inc.

Alexander said the lobby will be much bigger with a more welcoming environment.

“We are growing a little bit — very little room to grow there but we are going to utilize as much space as we can,” Alexander said. “We currently have six primary care doctors here and we will be looking to expand and hire another one later down the road. So, we’ll have enough exam rooms to support seven primary care doctors.”

There are plans to also expand the clinic’s mental health services.

“We currently have one integrated behavioral health provider and with this new facility and the new addition, it will allow us to bring on another behavioral health provider down the road,” Alexander said. “I don’t know when that will happen but that is our goal.”

The new site will be more comfortable for staffers that handle check-ins.

“The front staff pretty much sit on top of each other,” Alexander said. “I mean, if they extend their arms, they’re touching each other, so we’re very up close and personal and helping patients can get kind of loud. With this new place, we are a little bit more spacious and have a little bit more room to stretch and be a little bit more private.”

At its current location, the building’s square footage was estimated to be around 5,400. The new site will feature 7,600 square feet.

The new building will also be able to support two lab technicians and offer more space for training. And the office will even be able to stay open over the lunch hour, Alexander added.

“You can just see how much the community values their providers here,” she said. “It’s such a great community over here and so, the doctors want to give that back and they see how horrible their schedules are and they’re trying to doublebook and get patients in but they can’t.”

Courtney Pouliot, Corvallis Clinic communications specialist, said construction on the new building started back in April. Baldwin General Contracting serves as the project contractor. Varitone Architecture did the design work.

“It’s gone pretty smoothly and they’re expecting it to be done around the second week of September,” Pouliot said.

A section of the property will be cleared out to serve as a memorial grove “for people to come and remember ones that we have lost and just a good place to relax and reflect,” Pouliot said.

Alexander said the memorial area will honor patients and the clinic’s founders.

Said Alexander, “I’m very excited and that’s really close to my heart right there. That’s a big one for me.”

Pouliot said The Corvallis Clinic has no plans to drop the Philomath Family Medicine name.

“We’re staying true to our roots,” she said. “Philomath is such a small and tight-knit community … For us, Philomath has always kinda been a pillar, been here for a long time … so we want to remain that.”

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.