You can now get a basic health checkup at Richmond’s Huguenot High School.
The city on Monday opened the Huguenot High Community Center, billed as a place the community and students can use both for recreation and to get assistance.
Debra D. Gardner, deputy chief administrative officer of human services for the city, said the space will be a focal point for community members to get the help they need from a variety of providers.
The center has exam rooms and places for nurse practitioners to sit with patients who might not be able to get exams elsewhere, as well as offering immunizations and medical services to students’ families who are disadvantaged.
There also will be help for people putting their taxes together, people who need to get flu shots, people who need help from social services and people who are learning English as a second language.
“While this is probably one of the most affluent sectors of the city, we also have some disadvantaged people on the periphery so they’re going to need those kinds of services,” Gardner said.
In addition to the space to receive medical services, the center includes a large common area for games or programs as well as offices for staff and community members.
The new center, which is inside the newly built high school but with its own entrance, joins two that have already opened inside schools — one at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary and one at Broad Rock Elementary.
Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones said allowing for space in schools to be used as a community center means the buildings can benefit the entire community rather than just students and faculty when school is in session.
“What we’re trying to accomplish by building these community centers is to have hubs of academic achievement, personal wellness and family and community stability,” he said.
The centers are part of an effort by Jones’ administration to “establish full-service community centers along with the building of new schools.”
Gardner said the Huguenot center will serve a different group of people than the other two, which are primarily geared toward students and parents in areas near low-performing schools.
This center, Gardner said, will cater to an older population so programs will include art classes, health classes and classes on senior safety. There still will be after-school activities and services for students.
Gardner said the city continues to talk with residents about what they’d like to see offered at the center. “We’re trying to gear it toward the population,” she said.