Local leaders of the reconstruction project held a conference Friday at Mound Bayou City Hall to announce that D. Carroll Construction of Oxford was given a notice to proceed.
Management company AJA Management of Jackson, architectural firm Carnizaro, Cawthon and Davis of Jackson, representatives of Knights and Daughters, as well as the Taborian Team participated in the meeting.
Contractors have 210 days to complete the work.
The project was made possible by a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to renovate the facility and reopen as the Taborian Urgent Care Center.
Founded in 1942 by the fraternal order Knights and Daughters of Tabor, the venture is also supported by a partnership between the order and the city.
Also key to the effort is U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) who has been a long time advocate for Mound Bayou.
“This project has been somewhat of a dream for me since taking office,” Thompson said in a statement issued by Tabor. “A major concern of mine has always been centered around providing adequate health care to everyone in Mississippi.
"Many residents in rural towns across the state live everyday with the realization that they have to travel outside their community in the case of a medical emergency. That should not be the case, and here in Mound Bayou, residents will once again have access to a quality medical facility.”
Due to the historic nature of the building and the specific allocation of funds, the process to determine a general contractor had been long and arduous.
Margo Christian-Brooks, contract administrator for the project, said she's thrilled to be moving closer to the final goal.
“This is the day we’ve all been working towards — when the work actually begins," said Christian-Brooks. "Now we will begin to see the fruits of our labor.
"In a way, this is more gratifying than the day we were rewarded the grant. We never doubted it would happen, but I was a little uncomfortable it was moving so slowly."
Upon opening, TUCC will offer residents extended hours, including evenings and weekends, as well as other expanded services.
It will also provide walk-in access for acute illness and injuries, as well as physical and occupational therapy.
Christian-Brooks said the goal is to open the new facility on Feb. 23, 2014 — 72 years to the day since the original hospital opened its doors.
Recently elected Mayor Darryl Johnson Sr. said, “The renovation of the Taborian Hospital marks the beginning of the resurgence of Mound Bayou.
"This community knows well what it means to ‘rise from the ashes’ and we will reclaim not just our history, but yet another chapter of this great state and nation’s history.”
Once complete, the new center will become the area’s first urgent care medical campus.
For the meantime, the Taborian Team will continue to offer distance-learning opportunities, such as their current work with Coahoma Community College.
For more information on the Taborian Urgent Care Center of Mound Bayou, please contact Margo Chrisitan-Brooks at 662-741-3222.