Madera County development project could threaten highway icon

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Many people have taken photos of the "Stars and Stripes" barn at Highway 41 and Avenue 12, and Community Medical Centers just purchased the large parcel for its new development. (KFSN)

A new plan to build a medical center would help Madera County better deal with its projected growth.

So many people have taken photos of the "Stars and Stripes" barn at Highway 41 and Avenue 12, and Community Medical Centers just purchased the large parcel from McCaffrey Homes.

McCaffrey Homes is in the middle of building the Riverstone Development just down the road from where you will find that familiar barn with the stars and stripes.

Madera County supervisor David Rogers expects the Rio Mesa project to eventually house more than 30,000 families over the next few decades and a new medical center would be a perfect fit.

"We're talking about thousands of jobs eventually," Rogers said. "This is going to be a medical hub. You'll have two major medical centers located in that region - Valley Children's and Community Medical Center."

No timetable has been set to begin building. Community Medical Centers provided this comment from CEO Craig Castro.

"Although we have no immediate plans for building, we know this is in the heart of significant growth for our Valley."

Bob McCaffrey had the old barn painted with a patriotic theme shortly after 9/11 and the public quickly took to it. The barn sits on a 200-acre parcel.

"I'm sure that some arrangements will be made to preserve that barn and its beauty to the people of this region," Rogers said.

Rio Mesa is seen as a game changer. More homes, jobs, and retail would mean more tax dollars would stay home because many Madera County residents shop and eat in Fresno.

"This is one of the things that the leaders in Fresno have feared for years is that Madera would someday come into its own," Rogers said. "Well, that time has come."

Community Medical Centers bought the property last month but it has not been determined when it will begin to develop the area.

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