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      $500,000 expansion for Gwinn clinic

      Some residents expressed their concerns about the money used to expand Gwinn High School's Teen Clinic, but school officials said the money was used properly.

      "The funds for the clinic expansion are all federal funds that were dedicated specifically to this physical expansion of the clinic. None of these funds are available for any other use," said Dr. Stephen Piereson, Gwinn Superintendent.

      With a $500,000 federal grant from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, Gwinn High School's Teen Clinic construction is underway. The Marquette County Health Department applied for the grant last year.

      About 900 students and their families have access to the clinic which provides behavioral and primary care. The clinic opened two years ago to help uninsured and underinsured students.

      "The expansion will extend out through the north wall, and it will more than double the space available for services in the clinic," Dr. Piereson said.

      The clinic will also give those on staff the opportunity to better serve students and their families.

      "This expansion will enable us to be more comfortable and have better privacy and confidentiality," said Fred Benzie, Marquette County health officer.

      Construction is expected to be completed by the fall.