In the 1970’s the Willis-Knighton Health System in Louisiana began adapting abandoned buildings into much needed medical clinics. By 1995, they had begun their work on Project Neighbor health, which sought to provide health clinics in areas where there were medically disadvantaged peoples. Dr. E. Edward Jones Sr, then Pastor at Galilee Baptist Church, wanted a Project Neighbor health clinic in his community and was able to reach out to leadership within the Willis-Knighton Health System. They created a partnership in order to utilize the adjacent abandoned building sitting next to, and owned by, Galilee Baptist.
The partnership’s approach to evaluating the viability of the project began with a preliminary inspection of the existing property by engineers, architects, and construction professionals. Parts of the original building were preserved while the overall layout of the project was changed to reflect the needs of a health clinic. A formal feasibility study followed the preliminary assessment and included a customer service assessment, to determine the impact of the proposed health center on the target population, a political assessment, to determine the community and public official support as well as required zoning changes, and a financial assessment, to determine the project cost and the savings created by adaptive reuse over new construction.