The former Planned Parenthood building in Bryan will house Hope Pregnancy Center's sexually-transmitted disease clinic come 2015.
Hope Pregnancy Center officials bought the building at 4112 E. 29th Street and plan to offer free, confidential services three days a week before the start of the spring semester.
Brazos Medical Associates and EZ Labs will also move into the building in a partnership that will keep building costs low and allow patients to be treated by experienced physicians and receive blood work results in one place, said Tracy Frank, executive director at Hope Pregnancy Centers of Brazos Valley, a faith-based nonprofit offering free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, parenting and life skills classes, as well as material aid. Over the past 29 years, the center has served more than 22,000 people from its Brentwood Drive location in College Station, where its existing services will remain.
Brazos Medical Associates -- made up of Drs. Noreen Johnson and Haywood Robinson -- plans to relocate the practice to the 29th Street building while EZ Labs owner Stuart Quartemont said the building will house his business' second location.
Planned Parenthood moved into the building in 1999 and closed in August 2013 following the passage of legislation in 2011 that cut the nonprofit organization from the Texas Women's Health Program, which provides health care coverage for low-income women.
Frank said the new clinic will fill the need for STD treatment aimed largely at 15- to 24-year-olds -- who acquire half of all new STDs, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"We live in a young, vibrant community with A&M and Blinn, and this target audience is the least likely to do something about it when they feel like they might have an STD," Frank said, noting that teens and young adults sometimes avoid going to the doctor while on their parents' insurance due to concerns with confidentiality.
Moving into a building that once held much controversy could serve as "somewhat of a benefit because people have sought similar services at that location in the past, as far as STD services are concerned," Frank said.
She anticipates the STD clinic to serve 750 clients a year.