MOB’s move-in date set back

<p>This new architectural rendering of the new residential care center/assisted living facility that will be built was released at the Wallowa County Health Care district board meeting Monday, April 23.</p>

The official move-in date has been set back one month, from June 1 to July 1, for the new medical office building next to Wallowa Memorial Hospital.

The Wallowa County Health Care District board of directors approved the name Parkway Health and Wellness Center for the new building at its April meeting.

“They thought they would get it done by mid-May, but some things came up,” said Dave Harman, CEO of the health care district, of the construction schedule. “Actually it’s about 98 percent finished inside, and they are working on the sidewalk right now. The parking lot isn’t done yet.”

Harman said that the fact that the district’s other construction project, the residential care/assisted living facility, ended up being sited behind (to the north) of the medical office building required some redesign of the drainage system and contributed to the move-in delay.

He said the work will probably be done by mid-June, but everyone wanted the official debut at the first of a month.

Tenants of the new building will include Winding Waters Clinic, the hospital’s physical therapy department, Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness and the hospital’s surgeon, Dr. Ken Rose.

In the meantime, the site has been prepared for the new residential care facility approved by voters a year ago, and the construction phase is expected to actually get underway next month.

Harman admitted that there have been delays on this facility, which will succeed the Wallowa County Care Center nursing home, including a change in the business model, which will make most rooms designated assisted living, rather than residential care. This change allowed for higher state reimbursement.

As it stands now, the new care facility will include eight Alzheimer’s/memory care rooms and 18 assisted living rooms. It is expected that the current residents of the care center will move to the new facility when it opens, and the old nursing home, which operates at a loss, will close. The construction of the new care center was made possible by a 10-year local option levy approved by county voters. Its operation will be self-supporting, separate from the hospital.

“Our official date to move in hasn’t been changed yet; it is still Oct. 1. However, my gut feeling is that it will end up being closer to Dec. 1 or even the first of January,” Harman said.

He said requests for proposals from subcontractors were due last week, and the general contractor, Anderson Construction, was assembling the bids.

“Most of the sub-bids are on or below estimates, so it’s looking good,” Harman said.

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