A public Heart of Ohio family health center is expected to open in March at Whitehall-Yearling High School, 675 S. Yearling Road.

The Whitehall school board is scheduled to consider legislation approving the proposed health center at its meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Etna Road Elementary School, 4531 Etna Road.

The district received four bids to construct the health center that were opened Dec. 9, said David Hausmann, the district's director of operations.

Whitehall City Schools Superintendent Brian Hamler is expected Dec. 12 to recommend that the board award the bid to the lowest bidder for the project.

Hausmann identified that bidder as Pickerington-based TPV Design/Build Inc. for the amount of $73,000. With architectural fees and other expenses included, the total cost for construction is estimated at $90,000, said Ty Debevoise, director of marketing and communications for Whitehall schools.

The proposed resolution board members are to consider Dec. 12 authorizes the expenditure of $73,000 and contingency fees of $17,000.

The school-based health clinic, to occupy the school's former enrollment center, will benefit the school district and the public, said Jenn Schehl, development and marketing director for Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers.

Schehl called it the first school-based clinic in central Ohio.

"Heart of Ohio Family Health is excited to help improve the health of students, staff and families and to be part of the first school-based health center in Franklin County," she said. "This partnership with Whitehall City Schools will help reduce health disparities and chronic absenteeism while improving learning outcomes for students."

Schehl said the clinic not only will provide primary care but also will address behavioral health and substance-use disorders, education on healthy eating and active living, immunizations and more.

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