Progress being made on Au Gres McLaren facility

Tim Barnum
A McLaren Health Care facility in Au Gres is starting to take shape, as crews work through the winter on the project.

Au GRES — One of two buildings being built in Au Gres as part of a McLaren Health Care facility is now standing and framed in, and work on the second one is underway, according to the project’s general contractor, Tim Hunnicutt.

Hunnicutt, the owner of Hunnicutt Construction and Development of DeWitt, said his crew started work at the site late in the summer, the first step requiring workers to tear down the former American Pie building.

“We started with the demolition and the cleanup in August, and started construction immediately following that,” he said.

The walls erected on the first building, a 3,700 square foot family practice, according to Hunnicutt. He said the second building would be a 2,300 square foot physical therapy center.

Hunnicutt said his crew has worked steadily through the winter.

“It’s been tough to work through,” he said. “We’ve lost a few work days because of it. But because we were plowing through in the winter, we’re actually staying ahead of schedule a little bit.”

According to Hunnicutt, the first building should be ready to begin operating in late spring, with the physical therapy center being ready to open around one month afterward.

Preparing the site for work did take some time due to its state of deterioration, Hunnicutt said. The old building’s basement was flooded with debris and sewage, and the building was blighted, he said. To assist in the cleanup, Hunnicutt went through the state’s Brownfield Redevelopment program.

Prior to starting the project, Hunnicutt said he worked with the city of Au Gres and the Arenac County Economic Development Corporation to make sure the project met one of the goals of the local groups — community development. Since his company is employed 100 percent by veterans, Hunnicutt said it is technically a nonprofit company, and because of this he aims to keep his work focused on community revitalization projects.

“Basically, if it’s not a project that’s not going to make community a better place, I don’t get involved,” he said. “I came on board with their project a couple of years ago to benefit the community of Au Gres.”

Kampber Management, a Freeland-based development group that helped secure the Au Gres property for McLaren, said on its website that the project costs about $1 million.


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