DeKALB – The DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center may undergo a $15 million renovation project aimed at improving the morale of residents and employees while streamlining patient services.
The estimated cost is part of a budget from Missouri-based Management Performance Associates, which regulates the nursing center on Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb, and the facility's operating board.
“We've limited the project in size and scope to the most critical things we want to do and, of course, we want to do it without tax dollars,” said Gary Winschel, director of fiscal services for Performance Management Associates. “We want to be able to self-fund this operation, and that's why we're committed to the dollar amount taking out alternates if we have to.”
Performance Management Associates President Michael Scavotto said a $13 million bond issuance and a $2 million equity injection is being considered to finance the project.
Winschel's calculations show there will be no debt servicing from 2017 to 2019, but there will be $269,000 in capital needs the first year and another $400,000 over the next two.
From there, the nursing home's principal debt payments will range from $392,893 to $477,564 by 2024. However, the facility's cumulative cash flow will continue to increase during that time, according to Winschel's projections.
Winschel and Scavotto proposed the idea Tuesday morning to the DeKalb County Public Building Commission.
Part of the proposed expansion is to build 18 new private rooms and convert another 13 double rooms into private ones for Medicare patients. However, this will only increase the number of rooms from 190 to 196.
Winschel said this is to ensure that patients who may need rehabilitation for injuries are near each other and not assigned to rooms with long-term residents when discharged from the hospital.
The center opened in March 2000 as a skilled nursing facility for people in need of rehabilitation. At the time, three-quarters of the residents were on Medicaid.
A large activity area in the central courtyard of the facility is also being proposed to accommodate more residents at special events. The construction would require the removal of a large gazebo from the courtyard.
Bart Becker, administrator for the center, said that the gazebo needs a new roof and other repairs, but the tentative plan is to keep it on the grounds.
New construction will also include a new kitchen and private dining room to improve food service to residents, which was a problem addressed during the presentation.
“To serve this many people and to serve them hot food is critical, and to have that spoiled by poor temps or having something off just isn't acceptable,” Winschel said. “The goal is to keep the food fresher, more usable and presentable to the residents and going through the hallways just takes time.”
To improve circulation, more corridors will be added for food delivery.
“We're adding the Medicare unit with private rooms, so while we were doing that, the idea was to enhance the building,” Becker said. “With the creation of the area in the courtyard, it's going to enhance the delivery of the food carts, almost eliminating the needs of carts to be delivered in the hallways.”
Interior renovations will include a reduction in the size of nursing stations to allow more lounge space for residents.
“If you've ever walked through the nursing home it's a little institutionalized,” Winschel said. “It's got two real large nursing stations and little area where residents can sit and maybe watch TV, so it will be rewarding for a resident or family member to walk around and see that kind of a friendly environment."
On the county level, the DeKalb County Board, public building commission or the nursing home's operating board could make a determination to move forward with the project. Winschel said he was asked to present the expansion proposal at the DeKalb County Executive Committee meeting Jan. 11.
As a health service building, the renovations will also require Certificate of Need approval from the Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which evaluates a community's need, accessibility and financing for additional health care projects.
Winschel said he is not worried about receiving a Certificate of Need.
Larson and Darby Group of Rockford is expected to be designing the expansion while Ringland-Johnson Construction of Cherry Valley is being considered to build the project, according to Winschel.
Winschel also said it was too early to determine if the extra space would require an increase in staff.
Of the $15 million proposed budget, roughly $11.3 million are needed for hard costs, including $5.2 million for the transitional Medicare unit and dining services, $2 million for the center courtyard area, $1.5 million for interior renovations, $500,000 for furniture and equipment, $1 million for a generator with an enclosure building, $240,000 for additional chiller capacity and an 8 percent contingency of $837,072.
Soft costs total around $3.7 million and include $1.3 million for capitalized interest, $920,988 in architectural and engineering fees, $565,024 for a construction manager, $366,568 for a project coordinator, $258,667 for miscellaneous legal and underwriting services, a 4 percent contingency of $141,948 and other fees and services.