Construction on SCBHS senior living facility with memory care units may start in October

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Swift County-Benson Health Services continues to move closer to building a senior living facility that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care units with mobilization for construction to begin the first week of October.

Monday night the SCBHS governing board was given an overview of the project’s status by representatives of McGough Construction of St. Paul.

Though scaled back from a project that once was estimated to cost over $12.4 million to one that is now at $8.29 million, CEO Kurt Waldbillig said he would like to see that price eventually fall to around $7.7 million.

As designed, the facility would have 45 units with 18 dedicated to memory care. While trimming the budget, McGough and Waldbillig both stressed that quality is not being sacrificed to reduce cost. Rather changes like going with high quality cladding on the building rather than brick provides a significant savings.

At one time, the governing board was looking at a facility with 15 memory care beds, 34 enhanced assisted living beds, and 22 independent living beds for a total of 71 new beds. However, as the project has been scaled back the number of beds has dropped.

The new design of the building takes on a Scandinavian look with its color and architecture, McGough’s Brendon Stryn said.

The 45 units in the new facility will add to the 31 assisted living units already operated by the hospital in Scofield Place. When the new facility is constructed it will be immediately south of Scofield and attached with a common dining area.

By reducing the size of the project, SCBHS is also able to get all the parking on the block without having to add more parking across the street to the southeast. That has also saved considerable cost.

It is now estimated that a final plan should be available for governing board review and action by Aug. 21. The financing process would then start Aug. 21 and last through the third week in September. Getting all the necessary permits for construction take place between Sept. 15 and Sept. 29. Mobilization for construction would start Oct. 2.

Stryn told the governing board that construction time could be reduced by up to two months with the use of Fullerton Building Systems panels. Fullerton, based in Worthington, does nearly all the wall construction work on the panels, including the insulation, windows, and exterior sheeting at its plant. It then brings them in and sets them in place.

Fullerton’s panel system has been used to build fast-food restaurants, banks and other businesses.

Three surveys conducted over the past years have shown a significant need for expanded assisted living and memory care services in the Benson area. There are as many as 40 people on a waiting list to get into the new facility once it is constructed.

Many of those on the waiting list reach a point where they have to eventually move to another community to find care....


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