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Local

Commission OKs DeKalb County nursing home project priorities

John Heimbach, senior project architect for Larson and Darby Group, talks with DeKalb County building commissioners about the expansion project for the county's nursing home during their Tuesday meeting.
John Heimbach, senior project architect for Larson and Darby Group, talks with DeKalb County building commissioners about the expansion project for the county's nursing home during their Tuesday meeting.

SYCAMORE – No bids have gone out yet for the DeKalb County nursing home expansion project, and the state still needs to finish reviewing the project.

But the DeKalb County Public Building Commission agreed Tuesday to giving certain elements of the project first priority.

The commission voted unanimously for changes to the mechanical system’s base to more easily accommodate more urgent additions, including a new chiller, new boilers and an emergency power generator, to take precedence in project plans for the nursing home.

County Administrator Gary Hanson said the project cost remains capped at $15 million at the moment, but the county wanted to make sure the immediate welfare of nursing home residents is addressed first.

“The life-safety things are priorities that we want to make sure that we cover,” Hanson said.

The DeKalb County Board approved during its June 20 meeting the ordinance to authorize the issuance of
$14 million in general obligation
alternate bonds of the county
for the county’s rehab and nursing center expansion and renovations, which includes an added Medicare transitional care unit with 18 rooms and a new activity center.

The DeKalb County Board approved the land transfer from the commission to the county April 19 to move forward with renovation plans for the county nursing home. The commission had to sell the bonds to the project years ago to get cash up front to initially build the facility, so the county bought the bonds from the commission then.

Hanson said the project will be handled by the commission from this point forward. He said no other necessary county board approval is anticipated at this point.

The mechanical system adjustments are all part of the $15 million project but will take precedence over cosmetic improvements such as hallways and flooring, commissioners said during the Tuesday meeting.

John Heimbach, senior project architect for Larson and Darby Group, said drawings and pricing reviews of the project are still in progress.

He said the state is still in the process of their regulatory review for safety, potential construction issues and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance.

Heimbach said the goal is to have the plans in place within two months before the bidding process begins.

“The intent is to start construction as early in the fall as possible,” Heimbach said. “We just need to make sure we have all of the right pieces in place.”

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