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Evergreen Health opens expanded downtown facility

Evergreen Health Services is opening its newly expanded base and health care facility in downtown Buffalo this week, marking the completion of a $13.9 million project that nearly doubled its office and clinical space on South Elmwood Avenue.

The health care provider on Thursday will formally unveil the five-story, 33,000-square-foot addition to its Evergreen Center, located at 206 S. Elmwood, at the corner of West Chippewa Street.

“Now that the dust has settled I’m excited to welcome our elected officials, supporters, donors, project partners and neighbors to our new Center,” Evergreen Health President and CEO Ray Ganoe said in a press release. “This new facility allows us to expand and improve the services we provide, particularly to those who are often underserved by the health care system.”

The social services agency, part of Evergreen Association, provides primary and specialty medical care, housing, care coordination, pharmacy services, counseling and other programs for underserved populations in Buffalo and Jamestown. With 334 employees overall, it treats 3,000 patients annually for medical care and helps 10,850 clients with other programs.

The nonprofit organization – formerly AIDS Community Services before it rebranded to reflect its much broader clientele and offerings – has been located at the South Elmwood site for more than 20 years. Besides its offices, it currently maintains a syringe-exchange program, mental health counseling services, a primary care center and a pharmacy at the site.

It announced the expansion in 2014. Evergreen employs more than 225 people and serves 1,600 patients at Evergreen Center.

The expansion, designed by Rochester-based SWBR Architects and built by LPCiminelli, features a terra cotta facade comprised of 8,000 panels and tiles intended to "complement" the brick face of its historic Roanoke Building, according to a press release. It also includes a series of interior bridges that connect the old and new buildings through a five-story glass atrium.

Officials incorporated feedback from the Buffalo Planning and Preservation boards, as well as from nearby Hutchinson-Central Technical High School, the Chippewa Alliance and residents of the West Village.

“The open atrium symbolizes inclusiveness, the bridges symbolize how we collaborate with our clients and the wide corridors and bright spaces are open and welcoming,” said Joy Feldman, president of the parent Evergreen Association's Board of Trustees. “It’s so important to us that our clients feel calm and confident in this enhanced health care setting.”

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