Planned Parenthood in Champaign aims for expansion

Planned Parenthood in Champaign aims for expansion

CHAMPAIGN – Planned Parenthood is preparing to start a $2.3 million building project to expand its services and client base in Champaign.

Beth Kanter, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, said the organization is planning a complete remodeling of its Champaign facility at 302 E. Stoughton St. and has raised more than half the money needed to pay for it.

"We (still) have to raise $800,000 by January 2011," she said.

Plans include a reconfiguring of space inside the building that will move clinical services to the upstairs and turn the first floor into offices and educational programming rooms.

The number of exam rooms will remain the same, at five, but they'll be better sized to fit patient needs. Lobby and waiting rooms will also be updated and the outside of the building and parking lot will also get a new look, Kanter said.

Among the educational programming done by Planned Parenthood is a peer education program in which high school students are hired and trained to become sexual health educators for other students.

Planned Parenthood had considered moving to another building but realized its current location and building size is ideal, Kanter said. But redesigning the space will allow the organization to expand its number of clients by 10 to 15 percent and add some new services, she said.

In 2009, the Champaign facility served 11,200 patient with gynecological and breast health exams, cervical cancer screenings, birth control options, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, and medication-induced abortions, Kanter said.

After the remodeling, Kanter said Planned Parenthood would like to add new procedures, among them:

– Hysteroscopic sterilization and vasectomies.

– Endometrial ablation, a procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus to stop heavy or all menstrual bleeding and also effectively eliminates future pregnancies.

– LEEP (electrosurgical excision procedure) to treat potentially cancerous cervical cells.

Planned Parenthood has raised $1.45 million toward the cost of the building project, with $250,000 of the money coming from a Kresge Foundation challenge grant.

That's enough money to get started on the building project while fund-raising continues, Kanter said.

Demolition should be starting soon, with a goal of finishing the remodeling by next year. The Champaign facility will remain open and in operation while the work is under way, she said.

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