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Planned southside health center creates neighborhood opposition

A plan to build a community health center near a south Oklahoma City neighborhood is being met with controversy by area neighbors.

At the parks commission meeting Thursday, neighbors got an opportunity to hear about the project and chime in.

"Your property values will be damaged and affected tremendously by this move," said state Senator Ralph Shortey, who lives in the area.

A group of unhappy Oklahoma City neighbors today spoke one after another, most speaking against the planned regional wellness campus.

The spot near Parmelee Elementary is empty for now, but will boast fitness trails and workout stations, among with programs for young and elderly citizens.

But also planned: mental health evaluations and family planning, which Shortey says could lead to bigger issues.

"Most of the people that take advantage of that are people that we really don't want around an elementary school," Shortey said. "As you know, in south Oklahoma City, we have a prostitution problem. How many prostitutes are going to come to this location, looking for family planning services that's right next door to an elementary school?"

The health department says the locations are safe places for people to get basic health and wellness programs that they may not otherwise have access to.

One man, in favor of the new center, says similar programs helped him lose a lot of weight, along with others who say the programs are ultimately very good.

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