Lynchburg, VA- Tempers were high Thursday night in Boonsboro as officials from Centra were blasted with questions and comments about a proposed project there.
More than 100 residents came out to the community meeting at James River Day School to voice concerns over Centra's plan to move an internal medical center to their neighborhood.
Residents say the 15-thousand-square-foot facility will increase traffic on both Boonsboro and Irvington Springs Roads. And they're worried it will open the door to other, bigger facilities in their neighborhood in the future.
Boonsboro residents weren't against the idea of a new healthcare facility, just its location--in the middle of a residential area. Residents suggested numerous other sites for the center, most of which Centra officials had already considered, and run the numbers on.
"We're spending your money. We're spending the community's money. And as a steward of the community's money, that doesn't seem to make much sense to us," said a Centra official.
Centra says it does make sense to have a primary care medical facility near their patients' homes, just a short drive from the hospital and doctors' offices. Residents, however, questioned a patient's need of a facility so close to home.
"In all my years here, I've never heard someone say, you know what we need here, an internal practice facility at Boonsboro," said a resident.
Traffic was the main topic. Residents don't want more traffic in an already dangerous intersection. One Boonsboro resident, that happens to be a Centra patient, says traffic will not be an issue.
"As far as traffic is concerned, I went to the doctor's office the other day, and sat in the parking lot a long time to look at what traffic was coming in and out. And very little was coming in and out."
Residents looking toward the area's future also wonder about opening the door to re-zoning residential properties.
"My concern would be for the precedent that would be set if you change the zoning," said another resident.
Residents also voiced concerns about the possibility of Centra adding more buildings to the site. Centra officials say they would come back for community approval before building anything more than what's proposed.