GTCHD celebrating the past, building on the future as they turn 75


TAYLOR COUNTY—The Grafton-Taylor County Health Department (GTCHD) will be commemorating their 75th birthday soon, and this year, they will be celebrating in a big way.

“We will be hosting an event Celebrating our past, present and future,” shared Annie Kennedy, GTCHD County Outreach Coordinator. “While a large part of the occasion will be a look back at the many successes to reflect on, it will also feature a groundbreaking ceremony for a new health department facility.”

In March 2021, it was announced that after five years, the GTCHD had received funding that would go toward the construction of a new facility. The state awarded $1.5 million in funding through the federal funding.

The money was made available through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, who allocated $11,872,752 in Community Development Block Grants through the CARES Act.

“With assistance of the Region VI Planning & Development Council and the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department staff, the Taylor County Commission submitted an application to the CDBG-CV program for a public facilities project to the state,” Sheena Hunt, Region VI Executive Director reported. “This was for the construction of a new public health department facility.”

Then, in February of last year, the commission received a letter from Governor Jim Justice notifying the county that the project had been approved.

That the structure currently housing the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is over 100 years old, and while there have been upgrades to the once single-family home, the facility’s limitations made operations more difficult.

“The proposed new facility has been designed to overcome each of those shortcomings, including a new HVAC system; flow-through design for entering and exiting; two waiting areas; sufficient storage areas for equipment and supplies; and adequate meeting space,” officials reported.

According to Kennedy, the new building will be a freestanding, two-story facility with more than 3,000 square feet per floor, designed to serve the community for years to come.

“Existing health department will remain fully operational during construction of the new facility, with a phasing plan in place and additional scheduling and safety measures to maintain access for staff and patients through the process,” disclosed Kennedy.

The thrasher group provided architectural and engineering designs for the building and work will be completed by City Construction.

And to celebrate the successes the GTCHD has achieved in the past and will continue to obtain in the future, the organization will be hosting their official groundbreaking ceremony on July 22, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., at their current location at 718 West Main Street, Grafton.

“A small program will be held featuring several speakers, along with the groundbreaking ceremony. Be sure to stick around afterwards for light refreshments,” shared Kennedy. “So come out and celebrate the success not only the health department but the community. We hope to see you there!”

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