By Daniel Silliman
Standing in the hallway of the clinic, as the last supporters and donors trailed through, looking at the new expansion and marveling at the wealth of space, Lisa Page sighed.
"What we want to do now," she said, "is step back and take a deep breath."
Work was barely finished on the expansion of the Good Shepherd Clinic in time for Saturday night's annual fund-raiser. Molding was still being installed the night before and the painter, applying a coral blue color to the walls, stopped just a couple of hours before the event began.
After the tomato sandwich party, though, the yearly fund-raiser for the clinic which provides free medical care to Clayton County's indigent and uninsured, the 1,200-square-foot expansion was open to visitors.
Trooping through, supporters saw the 1950s house with hardwood floors and "Dutch Lap" siding that had been attached to the back of the clinic, and remodeled into a sparkling and sturdy, health clinic, with four new examination rooms, a doctors' office, storage space and a medical supplies room.
The expansion more than doubles the available space for the clinic, which has been in Morrow for eight years. Last year, about 1,800 in need of medical care, and two dozen volunteers trying to help them, had to operate in a severely cramped space. But things have changed.
"We are excited we'll have the exam rooms that are big enough that the doctors can actually walk around," said Page. "I think I might actually get a desk."
Page said the clinic may receive some donated equipment and will take some time, now, to figure out the best use for the available space.
According to Jim Phillips, the board member who managed the remodeling, the project cost about a third of what it would have cost without the help of a long list of volunteers.
"The whole thing," said board member L.C. Thomas, "was a labor of love."