Construction is underway on the North Caddo Medical Center extension in Plain Dealing.
Mayor Wiley Robinson said winter weather set the project back a few weeks, but construction crews are out working on the 1,500-square-foot building extension.
“They have the plumbing in place, the dirt work has been framed,” Robinson said as he looked out his window at City Hall. “They haven't poured the slab yet, but it looks like they are ready to pour it any day. I do see them working over there so progress is being made on it.”
The completed project will almost double the size of the building, Robinson said. That additional space, he added, is a big need for the town.
“The building was just not big enough,” Robinson said. “They stay full and I've seen people standing outside at times. There's no room in there.”
Robinson said he has been working along side Administrator David Jones, clinic physician Dr. Nicole McCommon, and Nurse Practitioner Patricia Webb on the project, which he said will open more space and provide residents a better overall experience at the medical center.
“The North Caddo Medical Center in our town is like the school system or the police force; it's something we desperately need,” he said. “Without the medical center here, people would have to travel at least 15 miles to Benton to get any sort of medical attention. The cost of travel in this economic time is hard for some.”
The talk around town about the extension has picked up too. Robinson said it's a very hot topic.
“When I'm out in town or meeting people, they all mention the medical center,” he said. “I know the people are excited in this area.”
Robinson said he doesn't think it will take long to complete once the foundation is set and the wall frames are up.
“They are definitely working on it. I think we may see something open this summer, but we'll have to wait and see.”
He also said he would like to have a grand opening celebration once the construction is complete.
“This is something for the whole community, not just the town of Plain Dealing,” he said. “This will give the town more room to grow.”