PORT ANGELES — Plans to build a new Northwest Kidney Centers dialysis facility where the Olympic Skate Center still stands have been delayed by at least a year, a kidney centers spokesperson said.
But the Seattle-based nonprofit dialysis provider remains committed to razing the recreational center at 707 S. Chase St. and constructing a new building for kidney patients by 2021, Linda Sellers said Wednesday.
When Northwest Kidney Centers bought the skate center in November 2017, the plan was to build a new dialysis facility by 2020 that will replace more cramped quarters at 809 Georgiana St.
Then two other projects took precedence.
“We just opened a new dialysis center in [north SeaTac] and we have one we’re about ready to open in Rainier Beach in Seattle,” Sellers said.
She said the organization expects to break ground on the new Port Angeles facility in late 2020 or 2021.
“We are working on a basic design now,” Sellers said. “That’s next on our list.
“It’s just a question of timing and focus.”
Doubts about whether the facility would open were raised on “The Real Port Angeles” Facebook page, where it was asserted that Northwest Kidney Centers was late paying a 2019 property tax bill of $2,878 on the South Chase Street property, valued at $472,667.
“I saw it on Facebook, as well,” Sellers said. “It was news to our accounting department.
“We just paid it.”
Northwest Kidney Centers purchased the property and the 11,200-square-foot rink from Sandra K. Locke for $442,500 on Nov. 30, 2017. Locke had owned the rink for 23 years.
Sellers said 37 patients come to the Georgiana Street clinic three times a week for dialysis, while 16 get their monthly check-ups and do dialysis at home.
Two years ago, when Northwest Kidney Centers purchased the skate center, 42 utilized the clinic regularly and 11 were doing in-home dialysis.
“It fluctuates,” she said. “It’s down from earlier this year.”
Patient capacity will increase from 54 patients to 60, Sellers said.
The new center will include a training area for home dialysis patients.
“That’s a treatment that many people use,” Sellers said.
Long term, the Georgiana Street facility is too small, she said.
“It has more room for supplies, and parking will be better.”
The current facility “is just not the most efficient layout for the staff,” Sellers said.
“The new center will be modern and bright and fresh and be a great healing environment.”
Sellers said she did not believe it was likely that Northwest Kidney Centers would keep the Georgiana Street address.
Founded in 1962, Northwest Kidney Center has outpatient dialysis centers at 18 locations in King, Pierce and Clallam counties, treating more than 1,750 with kidney disease, and has a dialysis museum and kidney research institute in Seattle.
Northwest Kidney Centers established the first outpatient dialysis clinic.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].