Sep 11, 2023
The contract between Community Consolidated School District 21 and Advocate Aurora Health for a student-based health center in the Community Service Center and Administrative Office is “being reviewed” by lawyers for the district and the non-profit health care system, according to Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
Presenting before the board of education during their July meeting, DeBartolo said the district remains in a “good position” amid the contract talks, with no red flags or issues that would cause concern to either party.
While that review is ongoing, the district is working with its architects, Arcon & Associates, and Advocate to design the clinic and put the district in a position to begin the bid process by the late summer or early fall. Construction would then begin, with hopes of completion by mid- to late-winter at the latest.
“We’re hopeful to have the clinic open in mid- to late January 2024,” DeBartolo said, adding that the space has been completed to the point where any remaining construction would be minimal and could be done in a quick time frame “in order to start servicing students and staff as soon as possible.”
The district’s community funding grant is also set to be finalized, which would allow the district to start spending the associated funds by Sept. 30. DeBartolo said while the grant allows for three years in which to spend the money, the district anticipates to wrap up that spending in less than 1 year, as its design and purpose is to go toward construction costs, which will occur before the clinic opens.
“Advocate has been a great partner and we’re really excited to have them aboard,” DeBartolo added. “We are going to be working with them on opportunities to begin to showcase their service and contributions so that when the clinic opens its doors, they’re already a known, trusted source.”
He added that the district is looking to open the health center “as soon as we can,” as there is a known need for additional access and providers of care in the community: “This is one of the main reasons we built this building and are opening the clinic.”
“The health center, this overarching plan, is all about our kids and making sure they miss as few days as possible so that their learning is not interrupted and to ensure their health and well-being is always the foremost concern of the district,” DeBartolo concluded.