'East Park' style for revamped Morrill Street Health Centre
A HEALTH centre and GP surgery will "bring the outdoors inside" by echoing the greenery of a nearby park.
Work is currently ongoing at the Morrill Street Health Centre, in east Hull, after an official "turning of the sod" ceremony was held in November.
Developer Citycare says the extension and revamp will include nods to the nearby East Park.
The current health centre is being expanded to include a second building next door.
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The old building will then be refurbished to bring it up to modern standards.
Citycare chief executive Jo Barnes said: "With the colour schemes and designs we are using, we will 'knit' the two buildings together.
"It will make a nice environment that is really welcoming and somewhere patients will feel comfortable.
"The colours will abstractly reflect the park, the outdoors and greenery.
"We want the nature of East Park to be shown inside the two buildings.
"We're trying to bring the outside in and connect the centre to the park and that feeling of relaxation.
"There will also be art pieces such as ceiling-mounted sculptures."
The current building houses three GP surgeries.
When the building next door opens, two of these will be moved across and one will remain in the old building.
The health centre's two buildings will also house other services such as dentistry, help to stop smoking, mental health and children's eye tests.
Originally, Citycare considered looking for a new site to create a new health centre. However, it was decided expanding on to spare land next door would be the best course of action.
Ms Barnes said: "We looked high and low for a site – we looked at 15 in total.
"We looked at some that were farther out of east Hull, but that would have meant a lot of patients would have had to travel further.
"After our search, it became clear it would be the best solution in terms of the size, and most efficient from a cost point of view."
Although the two buildings will be treated as one centre, they will house separate GP surgeries and have two car parks at the back.
Ms Barnes said: "The old building is getting a considerable revamp.
"There is a quad in the middle of it, but most patients didn't realise it was there as it is overgrown and messy, so staff covered the windows with blinds.
"That will be all sorted out so the blinds can come down and bring light into the rooms.
"There are minimum sizes you should have for clinical rooms.
"The rooms will be a standardised size, so some internal walls will be coming down and corridors moved.
"It will be more bright and airy and more fit for purpose.
"There will definitely be noticeable changes by the time we have finished."
The new building is expected to be complete by the end of July.
Two GP surgeries will then move across.
The refurbishment of the older building will begin in April and should be finished by March 2014.
All told, the project will cost about £3.4m.
The expansion plans will also allow the practice population to grow from 18,000 patients to 21,000 in the next three years.
Ms Barnes said: "We're really pleased with how it has been going and we're looking forward to seeing the end result.
"Hopefully, it will be something the community will enjoy and feel relaxed in."