Photos: Chickaloon health and wellness center

SUTTON -- A new community health center is rising in Sutton to provide care for this medically underserved part of the Valley where people still sometimes drive hours to see a doctor.

Currently, 280 patients seek health care in a makeshift community health center on the bottom floor of a Chickaloon Village Traditional Council building. The clinic, operated in partnership between the council and Southcentral Foundation, is called the C'eyiits' Hwnax Life House Community Health Center.

But a new $4.9 million health and wellness center more than four times the little clinic's size broke ground this week at Mile 61 of the Glenn Highway.

Scheduled for completion in December, the modern two-story building will rise from the highway amid Sutton's scattered homes, a bar, a store, and a handful of small businesses separated by 20 minutes of winding highway from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough's busy core around Palmer and Wasilla.

Read more: Chickaloon health and wellness center to serve patients far beyond Sutton