Building to expand services
Affiliated Clinical environmental remediation work continues

By AMANDA VOSS - Daily News

Oct. 24, 2014

 People walk along the Eisenbahn State Trail next to the construction for the Affiliated Clinical Services building Thursday afternoon in West Bend. The Museum of Wisconsin Art is in the background.  
Photo by John Ehlke

Construction has begun on the $1.4 million Affiliated Clinical Services office building, which will be a state-of-the-art facility to expand the clinic’s services to the county.

The building is being built on the southwest corner of East Washington Street, east of the Eisenbahn State Trail and north of the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow of American Design and Build Inc., the construction manager for the project, said it is doing environmental remediation. He said there is coal on the site from coal storage when trains traveled the tracks before the trail existed.

He said construction on the building will start in about two weeks and will be completed in the spring.

Affiliated Clinical Services leases space at 400 W. River Drive and has a clinic in Hartford.

The lot was purchased for $165,000 and has been vacant since 2003. The Daily News reported at one time it was purchased for an insurance company office building that was not built, then sold to a regional financial institution for a bank, but it never came to fruition.

 ACS Staff - From left to right, Rajesh Kumar, Jim Giese, Mical Schaffer and Jessica Geschke.   
Photo submitted

The site, 111 E. Washington St., is part of the city’s Tax Incremental Financing District 5 and Affiliated Clinical Services co-owner Dr. Jim Giese said the estimated annual property tax to the city will be about $31,000.

“It shows great economic development in West Bend,” Sadownikow said. “The services help just about everyone in the community. It’s great to have a world-class facility.”

During a special Common Council meeting Tuesday, a decision will be made to provide a low-interest revolving loan to help Affiliated Clinical Services build the office building.

The office building will feature a burgundy-colored masonry veneer with beige-colored stone veneer as an accent and a 60-stall parking lot.

The property is adjacent to MOWA’s proposed sculpture garden. In a letter to City Planner Mark Piotrowicz, MOWA Executive Director Laurie Winters outlined some suggestions for the property, which included adding a minimum of five trees at least 12 feet tall along the west side of the clinic’s parking lot to not only shield it from the sculpture garden but the Eisenbahn State Trail.

 Drawings created by Jim Giese, co-owner of Affiliated Clinical Services, of what the new Affiliated Clinical Services building will look like south from Highway 33.   
Drawings submitted

Giese said he met with the MOWA Board of Directors and made it clear Affiliated Clinical Services will be friendly neighbors.

During a Plan Commission meeting Jim Reinke, the city’s business and development planner, said the request couldn’t be incorporated because of existing easements and utilities that would cause conflicts.

Giese said it’s going to be tough, but they will look at all possibilities.

Affiliated Clinical Services Business Manager Debra Pietsch said work started in April. One of the reasons Affiliated Clinical Services wanted a new facility is it was running out of space, Pietsch said.

“It’s a good location being on Highway 33,” Pietsch said. “It’s a great location. It has been for sale. We thought we could see what we could do.”

Giese said the primary motivation behind the facility is to better address the heroin epidemic in Washington County with a more comprehensive and integrated treatment approach.

Giese wanted Affiliated Clinical Services to be in the center of West Bend because he’s interested in shrinking the treatment gap.

He said about 50 percent of the families that need help are not receiving mental health services, which is about 6,000 people a year.

The gap is due to lack of insurance coverage, rising cost of health care and the negative stigma of receiving mental health services, he said.

“I wanted it to be as commonplace as going to the dentist,” Giese said. “We’re ecstatic about the location.”

Giese said it’s going to be a larger facility and Affiliated Clinical Services will be able to see a greater number of clients.

“With our projected growth model and additional treatment staff, we anticipate helping a minimum of an additional 200 families a year for the next five years,” Giese said.

Affiliated Clinical Services has been providing outpatient mental health and substance abuse services to Washington County for 30 years. It is owned by Giese and Dr. Rajesh Kumar. It accepts eight to 10 referrals a day and provides services to nearly 100 clients a day.

The organization has 12 support staff members, four doctors, one advanced practice nurse practitioner, two registered nurses and 27 therapists.

Pietsch said they will be hiring more employees to provide services in the new building and Giese said Affiliated Clinical Services will add 11 employees in the next five years.

Giese said the 7,500square-foot, 25-office clinic will be a state-of-the-art facility and there will be specific programming for children, women, anxiety, depression and substance abuse treatment.

He said it will be a new clean environment that will make people feel good.

“The foyer will be two stories tall,” Giese said.

“We will have a dedicated art therapy room,” he added.

He also said there will be electronic medical records and Affiliated Clinical Services can use a team approach to treat patients. He said there will also be a dedicated nursing station, which he said is unusual for a clinic like theirs.

The office building should be completed in the spring and Giese said they are expecting to have an open house mid-May.

“We’re looking forward to being able to move in a better location and provide services greatly needed in this county,” Pietsch said.