Dueling clinics break ground in Lockhart
By LPR Staff
In the coming year, Lockhart and Caldwell County residents will enjoy at least two new health care partners, as evidenced in the ongoing construction of competing dialysis clinics on Highway 183.
The two businesses, DaVita Dialysis and Fresenius Medical Care, both operate clinics in Hays County, an
d both have noticed an increase in patients from Lockhart and Caldwell County.
“Davita has been looking into a location for quite some time,” said Lockhart’s Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin. “But they were doing it quietly.”
The secrecy, Mauldin said, was largely due to the fact that the two companies have historically competitive business plans, and are often found with locations very near to one another.
“It’s like [the major drug store chains],” she said.
“When one builds, the other one is going to get a location right up the road. So we were working quietly with both companies, and we’re so happy that they are both under construction.”
Mauldin said in her conversations with both DaVita and Fresenius, the clinics had both noticed an increase in patients from Caldwell County. Presently, she said, there are more than 100 residents of this area that require dialysis treatment.
“With that many people, this is a great thing for us,” she said. “Because San Marcos is close, but still requires that travel, and New Braunfels is close, but still requires that travel. It’s great that those patients are going to have something here.”
While construction on the DaVita facility seems to be progressing rapidly on the east side of Highway 183, that construction is being managed by out-of-town contractors.
Fresenius, on the other hand, has worked locally, and plans to open their clinic in May 2015.
“We want to make sure that when companies choose to build within this city and county, they understand that there are resources and talented labor force in the Lockhart area and that they should always be included in the bidding process and be given the chance to do the work,” said Winn Smith of Countywide Builders, the general contractor on the project. “With this project, as will all of our projects, it will be our mission to employ local contractors where possible and to build in a professional and efficient manner.”
Smith said the opportunity came to Countywide originally as a request to install a sign at the worksite, and then developed from there into a chance to bid the contract, eventually beating out five other contracting firms to win the project.
Both DaVita and Fresenius are nationwide companies, something that Mauldin said is a sign of things yet to come for Lockhart.
“We are getting the word out that we’re here, and that we’re open for business,” she said. “There are still some things coming, and other things that we are working on, but we have lots of construction going on, and businesses are starting to take notice of Lockhart.”
Follow future editions of the Lockhart Post-Register for more information on business development in Lockhart, and make sure to pick up our 2015 Health and Wellness Guide for information on health care providers in Lockhart and the surrounding areas.