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BMIC chooses contractor for new health center project

BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Indian Community has finalized selection of a general contractor for the new Bay Mills Health Center. Hallmark Construction of Traverse City will be taking the lead on the 34,000-square-foot building, with groundbreaking taking place on Oct. 1. Hallmark has pledged to have the building completed in 410 calendar days, with completion in January 2022.

“We were impressed by Hallmark’s reputation, and their quick timetable to get this project completed,” said Bay Mills Tribal Chairman Bryan Newland in a news release. “We are also thrilled to partner with a northern Michigan company.”

The new health center will be located in the heart of the reservation, near the Tribal Justice Center on Lakeshore Drive. The grounds for the project were cleared last year, and although there were some timeline setbacks due to the pandemic, officials said they are pleased to have the project starting before winter.

Officials from BMIC have been laying the groundwork for the project throughout the last year, with the assistance of the Indian Health Service. DSGW of Duluth, Minnesota, designed the new facility, with input from tribal leaders and health center staff. The firm has developed tribal health centers throughout the Great Lakes region.

Plans for the new facility include the potential of adding such as optometry and chiropractic services. BMHC currently provides medical, dental, and mental health services to both tribal and non-tribal individuals throughout the county.

Construction on the project will cost $12.1 million. To finance the construction, BMIC secured a $6 million loan from the USDA in June and $1.5 million from the state of Michigan, which kicked off the project. BMIC will contribute toward the remaining balance of the project.

BMHC provides services to more than 10% of the population in the local area and is one of only a few dental providers that currently accept Medicaid in Chippewa County.

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