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MERIDIAN-- The Meridian School District is building the first-of-its-kind school-based health clinic in the state.

It will offer students throughout the district health care at no cost.

The clinic will be located right next to Meridian Elementary School in the geographic center of the city. The goal is to give children quicker and better health care than the school nurse is able to offer.

The clinic will be a 10-room facility. Most of the materials and workers needed to complete the project have been donated. High school students are doing most of the construction themselves.

The Family Medical Residency of Idaho will help run the clinic through grant money.

Meridian School District spokesman Eric Exline says it will be the first school-based clinic in Idaho.

The basic idea is to give kids quick access even during a school day to health professionals so they can start getting treatment sooner, get back in school faster, stay up in their learning. Healthy kids learn better, said Exline.

Exline says the way it will work is simple. With parental permission, a student who goes to the school nurse feeling sick will then be transported to the clinic if necessary. Then, medical professionals will be able to write prescriptions and treat the student, all during the same school day.

The clinic is scheduled to open in March of 2014.

The plan is for it to be open to all Meridian students, at no additional charge.

There will be community meetings in the coming months for parents to get more information on the school-based clinic.

The school district says there will be no cost to taxpayers.

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