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Sonoma Valley Community Health Center closes escrow

After a few twists and turns, the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center finally closed escrow on its new site this week, at 19270 Sonoma Highway. Officials said construction will begin shortly to transform the former Sonoma Rental Center into a full-service medical hub, offering everything from primary care providers and obstetrics, to behavioral and dental health, when it opens in April 2014.

“This project started eight years ago, and closing escrow on the site is a major milestone toward our goal,” said health center CEO Cheryl Johnson. “It would not have been possible without the generosity and talent of many members of our community. Our dream of a new community health center for Sonoma Valley is now well on its way to becoming a reality. We are in the final stages of the building permit process and expect construction to begin in early November.”

The total project cost is $12 million, but the health center has received a variety of grants from local, county and federal agencies, including a $5 million expansion grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The center has launched a three-year capital campaign to raise an additional $5 million, which began with the first phase to raise $1.2 million to close escrow on the new building. More than 100 donors contributed to the effort, which allowed the center to close escrow on Thursday. Now the center is in the midst of its second phase, to raise another $3.8 million to cover project costs. But, thanks to the grants and a $5 million loan from the nonprofit NBC Capital Investments, construction will begin as soon as the permits are in place.

Neenan Architecture, a Colorado-based firm with more than 20 years of experience working with federally qualified health centers, will lead the project.

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