Dreary weather didn’t stop over 60 people from showing up to the groundbreaking ceremony for Winters Healthcare’s new facility.
What is now an empty dirt lot nestled between a Dollar General and Yolo Federal Credit Union at 172 E. Grant Ave., will be transformed by the end of 2019 into a 15,900-square-foot complex that offers medical and dental services.
The organization, which has been around for 18 years, has been named a top quality provider in Yolo County for the the last two years by the Primary Care Provider Quality Improvement Program.
Winters Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry moved to the town in 1954 and remembers when there were just two doctors, one of whom was her next-door neighbor. She gave a short speech during the groundbreaking — which was held in a tent on-site to shield guests from the drizzle — about how far Winters has come:
“Our community is growing and we need this. We need this for our friends, our families, our farmworkers and everyone who passes through here and may need to use our facilities,” she said.
Other attendees included Mayor Bill Biasi, City Manager John W. Donlevy and representatives from the offices of Congressman John Garamendi, California Senator Bill Dodd and Yolo Supervisor Don Saylor as well as healthcare staff.
When it was Biasi’s turn to take the microphone, he referred to the facility as an “answer to our dreams.”
“With our growing city, we’re going to need the larger facility that they’re building here,” he said. “They’ve been doing a good job at their offices downtown, but I know they need more space and this is going to solve that need.”
Winters Healthcare Executive Director Christopher Kelsch said the idea for one big space in a central location has been in talks since 2013, but didn’t gain traction until 2015 or 2016. Current offices will be consolidated in the new building and close once it opens next year.
he facility’s estimated cost is $9 million, mostly funded by a $7 million USDA loan, Kelsch said.
Accompanying senior living apartments and a senior center are planned for the same block.
These are just a few of many projects helping to build the small town of Winters.
A boutique hotel and Fairfield Inn are in the works and a PG&E Gas Operations Technical Center, Yolo Federal Credit Union and the town’s first Starbucks have opened in recent years.
Donlevy praised everyone who has had a part in bringing the medical center to life:
“There’s a certain renaissance that’s going on that takes in the charm of our past and combines it with a vision towards the future to make things happen and this facility is absolutely that,” he said. “It takes things a little bit longer in a community like ours, but there’s a certain level of excellence that we have in Winters.”
As guests were leaving the ceremony, trucks full of construction workers were driving onto the property to start building.