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Evergreen Health Services plans $9 million expansion of South Elmwood offices, clinic

Evergreen Health Services is planning a $9 million expansion of its South Elmwood Avenue offices and medical clinic because the social services agency is running out of room for employees and patients at its longtime home.

The nonprofit is soliciting support from neighbors for its plans to build a five-story addition that would double its current space in the historic Roanoke Building at 206 S. Elmwood Ave., across West Chippewa Street from Hutchinson-Central Technical High School.

Evergreen officials haven’t filed formal plans for the project, which would be built on a portion of a surface parking lot immediately to the west of the Roanoke and would include an atrium connecting the old and new buildings.

“We have such a need right now,” said Justin Azzarella, Evergreen’s associate vice president for community development.

Evergreen Health Services, formerly AIDS Community Services, is part of the Evergreen Association of Western New York, which owns five buildings at the corner of South Elmwood Avenue and West Chippewa Street.

Evergreen’s 30,000-square-foot administration building houses offices, a syringe-exchange program, mental health counseling services, a primary care center and pharmacy. Evergreen and its precursor agencies have been located there for 18 years, said Ronald Silverio, the association’s CEO.

The agency’s workforce has grown from 80 to 225, and its client base has seen similar growth, as its mission expanded in recent years, fueling the need for larger space. Evergreen is planning a five-story, 30,000-square-foot addition designed by SWBR Architects of Rochester.

Medical space in the new building would double to 7,000 square feet, from the 3,500 square feet in the existing building, which was intended to serve 400 or 500 patients but instead serves about 1,600, Azzarella said.

Evergreen would lose some parking spaces to the expansion and is looking into leasing additional parking near its campus.

The nonprofit invited residents of adjacent streets and other immediate neighbors to a forum Wednesday night to discuss the addition. Evergreen plans further meetings with administrators at Hutch-Tech, members of the Chippewa Alliance and residents of the nearby Avant building.

The agency has held informal meetings with City Hall officials, but has not submitted documents to begin the formal approval process. The city Planning Board and the city Preservation Board would need to sign off on the project, Azzarella said.

The $9 million price tag for the expansion is an estimate and could go up by the time construction begins, he said.

Once the required approvals are granted, Evergreen expects construction on the addition would take 12 months. Agency officials say they have no solid timeline on when they hope to move into the expanded facility.