By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor
Rapidly expanding Hudson Headwaters Health Network plans to build a 27,000-square-foot health center on Carey Road in Queensbury, adjacent to its 11,000 square-foot West Mountain Primary Care Center that opened in 2009, The Chronicle has learned.
“There is a great need for primary care, we are hiring more and more doctors, and now we need space,” Dr. John Rugge, Hudson Headwaters founder and CEO, said.
He said that in the last 18 months, they’ve added 29 full- or part-time providers — physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives — and they could add as many as seven more physicians and seven to 10 nurse practitioners or midwives by the end of next year.
Dr. Rugge said that Hudson Headwaters is under contract to buy two lots totaling 3.7 acres on Carey Road, adjacent to the West Mountain Primary Care Center, which he said “is bursting at the seams.”
Hudson Headwaters will submit plans for the new Carey Road health center to the Town of Queensbury in July, and pending approval, hopes to be in the new building in July 2015, he said.
Expansion of the facility west of Northway Exit 18 will scale back Hudson Headwaters’ plan for land it owns in Glens Falls behind the Broad Street Hannaford.
Dr. Rugge said, “We have the property on LaRose Street and Western Avenue in Glens Falls we purchased from the Salvation Army, and were looking at building a large two-story building, 54,000 square feet, but that would take two to three years to arrange the financing, and with the new physicians joining us, we needed to do something much quicker.”
He said, “With 27,000 square feet on Carey Road, the Glens Falls health center may be 30,000 square feet, and maybe just one floor, and maybe not steel.”
Dr. Rugge said, “We’re in this very dynamic phase, where what we do on one site affects the other site…We needed to get the Carey Road space done first.”
He said the Adirondack Health Institute (AHI), which occupies 4,000 square feet in the Carey Road administrative building, will be moving to a larger space soon, allowing the administrative staff “to decompress a little bit. We have been using conference rooms as offices, and now we will be able to spread out a little.”