Condition update: Construction progressing at Primary Health Network site

SHARON – The new headquarters for Primary Health Network is taking shape in downtown Sharon. Construction workers have been busy since spring on the medical-professional building at the corner of Vine Avenue and Pitt Street

Drew Pierce, chief executive officer, said the hard winter and rainy spring weren’t helpful, but employees of Hudson Construction, Inc., Hermitage, the general contractor, are making steady progress on the $20 million building.
The work – about 35 percent to 40 percent complete – is expected to be finished in the third quarter of 2016.
“We’re finally moving along,” Pierce said. “We got slowed down by the weather earlier this year, but we did enough due diligence so we knew where we stood, and we haven’t run into any unforeseen things at this point. I’m knocking on my desk as I say that, and I’m hoping it stays that way.”
Over the last several years, Primary Health, which annually serves about 118,000 clients in 15 counties in Pennsylvania and Ohio, has built regional offices in Clarion and Punxsutawney. The new building will become its flagship.
Primary Health employs 550 in its network and an additional 30 through Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation. It has an annual operating budget of $65 million. The network provides primary medical, dental and social services to those who are uninsured or underserved by other care providers.
“It’s a little more challenging when you’re building a five-story structure, but the process has been pretty similar to the others so far,” Pierce said.
Contractors are also working on the parking garage. Primary Health leased it from Sharon after the city used a grant to repair beams throughout the garage and renovate the lower three floors. Workers are returning the elevator to service and upgrading the decks, electrical service and lights on the upper two floors. 
They’re also improving security at the garage that is open to the general public as well as the network’s staffers and patients.
“We discovered early on that vandalism is a problem, so we put in a system with new gates,” Pierce said. “They’re locked between midnight and 7 a.m. Anybody who’s parked in there can get out, but nobody can get in during those hours.”
The gates are open between 7 a.m. and midnight.
The 78,000-square-foot building will contain primary care medical offices including:
• Two pediatric offices
• Two obstetrical/gynecological offices
• Two mental health offices
• Ear, nose and throat and orthopedic practices
• Diagnostics and laboratory services
• Medical education institutions
• Primary Health Network administrative offices
The Huntington Bank building was the last office building erected in Sharon. Built as First Federal Savings and Loan Association, it was completed in 1969.

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