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New Heartland Health Center to Have Solar Panels, Geothermal Heating

 The one-story facility will replace a long-vacant building at 1300 W. Devon Ave.
Devon Ave. Health Center
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ROGERS PARK — A new community health center planned for Devon Avenue will include roof-top solar panels and geothermal heating, officials said.

Gwenn Rausch, the executive director of Heartland Health Centers, said demolition of the existing structure at 1300 W. Devon Ave. should begin in early August.

Construction of the one-story facility should be finished within a year.

"This health center planning is almost into its third year," said Rausch Monday at a public meeting in Rogers Park. "We faced a lot of obstacles."

Rumors of the new health center, which will offer adult primary care, pediatrics, women’s health and behavioral health services, surfaced late last year. The company officially confirmed the plan in a DNAinfo.com Chicago report earlier this month.

Officials at Monday's meeting said geothermal wells drilled under the parking lot would help heat the building. In geothermal systems, pipes are installed below ground to capture the natural warmth of the earth. A temperature-absorbing liquid flows through the pipes, transferring the energy into the building.

A roof-top solar panel would provide 13 percent of the building's power.

Rausch and her design team said the facility would be the most energy-efficient health center in Illinois.

In 2011, the organization was awarded a $3 million grant from the state to help build the $4.8 million facility.

Heartland's development team 3 Corners Development also bought the parking lots across the street when it purchased the building that formerly housed Weinstein Family Services, a funeral home.

Christopher Wood, the firm's president, said there weren't plans to develop the land and that he would likely sell the parcels after the new health center is built

Heartland expects to serve more than 400 patients a week when the facility opens.

The 9,200-square-foot center when completed will have 12 exam rooms and a community room with a capacity of 100 people.

The center will employ about 20 staff members.