POLAND, Ohio – A $7 million expansion at Shepherd of the Valley’s campus here could be completed in nine months, earlier than officials had anticipated even a few days ago.
A ground-breaking ceremony took place Thursday afternoon for the 32-bed, short-term rehabilitation unit, which will add 24,645 square feet addition to the existing assisted living center.
Contractors “told us 12 months [earlier] but now they’re talking nine months,” said Danielle Procopio, corporate director of marketing, sales and communications for Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services Inc.
Mark J. Dodd, senior vice president of DeSalvo Construction Co. in Hubbard, general contractor on the project, said the company hopes to begin layout and surveying next week. “About two weeks after that we’ll start foundation work and begin the process of construction,” he said.
The schedule is “fairly aggressive,” he acknowledged, “but we feel that with a nice summer that we can get it done in plenty of time before the end of this year,” he said.
The addition was designed by Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Associates in Howland, the architectural firm that designed the Poland and Howland facilities and worked with Shepherd to renovate the Boardman campus.
The intent is to provide the “full continuum of care for our residents that live on this campus,” said Richard Limongi, Shepherd of the Valley executive director. With the addition of the rehab center, residents who require short-term therapy will be able to receive it without having to leave the campus. “They can come here, receive all of the rehab that they need and go back to their previous setting,’ he said.
The Poland campus has 57 assisted living residents and 59 independent residents. The expansion would add 30 employees to the existing workforce of 58.
“The concept and the design of our project is all based on person-centered care,” Limongi, said. “It’s getting away from the institutional feel of your typical nursing home.”
The expansion’s three “neighborhoods” will each house 10 to 12 residents, with each room having its own full bathroom. Among the features of the expansion, which will add 24,645 square feet to the existing independent living center, will be a 1,964-square-foot therapy room with an “endless pool,” Limongi said.
“It’s going to have a treadmill on the bottom so the residents that are in for rehab will be able to actually walk on a treadmill in the pool,” he said. Other features will include a main dining hall, chapel, happy hour lounge area and outdoor patio.
“We want our clients to be able to age in place,” remarkeKaren Bovard,president of Shepherd’s board of directors.”
“Several of our residents are in need of physical therapy and they can be right here getting that close to home,” remarked Bill Wade, a 12-year resident of the Poland campus.
A former Youngstown city councilman, Wade resides in the independent living section and is president of the campus’ residents association.
“There have been cases where the residents have gone to hospitals and then they go to rehab at another location, so it’ll be beneficial to all the residents here,” he said.