Southside Health Center To Open At Rickards High

Feb 8, 2016

Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons announces the new health center at Rickards High School.
Credit Ashley Tressel / WFSU News

The Leon County School District is opening a new health center at Rickards High School. The district has partnered with Neighborhood Medical Center to provide healthcare for Southside families and students.

The district has partnered with Neighborhood Medical Center to provide healthcare for Southside families and students. Superintendent Jackie Pons says it will be open in the next sixty days.

“This is almost a $3 millon to $5 million  facility, so it’s really nice when you get inside, it’s just like Patients First, so we’ll have one of the finest healthcare facilities on the Southside that we could possibly have.”

Leon County has opened similar facilities in the past that closed due to loss of federal funding. But Pons says he’s not worried because it’s a private partnership.

“We’ve had community schools in Leon County for forty years, so that’s been going on quite a while," Pons says. "It’s a great concept, it’s a good concept, but what sometimes had happened in the past is they were funded on federal grants and when the federal grants ran out, it was hard to sustain it.”

Tallahassee City Commissioners Gil Ziffer and Scott Maddox have been trying to turn former Leonard Wesson Elementary into a community school that would also provide healthcare to the Southside. Pons, who joined the initiative, says they are still seeking funding. 

The district is also opening a food bank at Rickards.