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Tuskegee announces plans to build $3 million healthcare facility

Published: Feb. 8, 2016 at 1:46 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2016 at 2:03 PM CST
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(Source: WSFA 12 News) Lot where new healthcare facility will be located.
(Source: WSFA 12 News) Lot where new healthcare facility will be located.
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - The City of Tuskegee has a clear vision of the future, driven by its rich history.  Mayor Johnny Ford announced plans to build a new $3 million Federally Qualified Health Center, and then a brand new 25-28 bed hospital.

Construction is already underway on an expansion to Tuskegee's nursing home, and the Mayor says there are plans to build a brand new nursing home as well.

"Our goal is to have comprehensive healthcare," says Mayor Ford. "When people get sick, have a heart attack or stroke, they need to have health care right here in Tuskegee, Alabama."

There is also a plan for a brand new hotel near the interstate. Site preparation is in-process at exit 38 off I-85. The Mayor says it will create a more inviting environment for those passing through.

The city is already celebrating success in education. Tuskegee Public Elementary School was just selected as a Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Banner School for 2015-16.

"It says that Tuskegee Public is definitely moving forward, and our students are taking ownership for their learning," Principal Tiffany Williams says. "We're focusing on our leadership qualities, we're working on getting our parents more involved, and their academic success."

Tuskegee Public is already an Apple Connect School, so all of its students have iPads, the teachers work with MAC Books, every classroom has an Apple TV and projectors.

Tuskegee is also the home of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site where the very first African-American pilots were trained. A museum is there, demonstrating how Moton Field was the site of the U.S. Army's "experiment to see if Negroes could be trained to fly combat aircraft", according to the museum's website.

"And we're very proud of the fact that the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is one of the most outstanding tourist attractions in the state of Alabama," says Mayor Johnny Ford. "It memorializes forever the valor of the flying, fighting Tuskegee Airmen, and it attracts thousands of tourists to our city."

Now the City of Tuskegee is working to establish another National Historic Site. It's VA hospital has already been recognized by Alabama's Historical Commission as the first hospital to treat African-American war veterans during WWI. Mayor Johnny Ford says the Tuskegee VA is to Medicine, what the Tuskegee Airmen were to the military, and it deserves national recognition.

"It has not been recognized. You've heard negative things about the VA hospital, but we are proud of our VA hospital here in Tuskegee and we will not stop
until it, too, is declared as a national historic site for African Americans in medicine, historic accomplishments made by African Americans in medicine."

The VA Hospital would mark Tuskegee's third National Historic Site. What's now Tuskegee University, formerly Tuskegee Institute, is also a National Historic
Site featuring tributes to Booker T Washington and Dr George Washington Carver. In fact, Mayor Ford says it's the only school in American that has been declared as a National History Site for black education and accomplishment.

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