JENKINS TWP. — United Methodist Homes’ Wesley Village is adding 24 short-term rehabilitation beds to the skilled nursing, personal care and assisted living services it already offers on its campus near Pittston.
But first, it must build the new rehabilitation unit, which will be an addition to the Partridge-Tippett Nursing Facility.
On Wednesday, principals of the company and Wesley Village, standing under a tent as rain fell, turned the first shovels of dirt for the new addition as more than 80 people, including board members, staff, residents and architectural and construction company representatives, watched from a larger tent across the campus road.
“I have often heard that rain on your wedding day is good luck,” said Brian Picchini, president and CEO of the Binghamton, New York-based United Methodist Homes, from behind the podium. “I hope it is the same for our groundbreaking.”
The $20.3 million project, which also includes renovations and upgrades throughout the campus, took more than a year to plan, said Picchini, speaking before he and Wesley Village Administrator Danielle Janeski, United Methodist Homes board Chairwoman Calli Berg and Wesley Village resident Bob Taylor donned hardhats for the symbolic spading of dirt.
He said that with hospital stays shorter, nursing homes are seeing more residents in need of more care.
“The unit will provide services to patients who need to regain their health,” Picchini said.
Those include orthopedic, stroke, cardiac and other patients. The new unit’s services will be available to the community, as well as Wesley Village residents, he added.
After the brief program, Picchini said the renovation work would include significant upgrades throughout the campus. Wesley Village includes facilities for 103 skilled-nursing beds, 82 beds for assisted living and 103 independent-living cottages.
In Partridge-Tippett, plans include a nurse call system upgrade, as well as lobby, common area and resident room renovations, such as new paint and flooring and lighting changes. Anderson Personal Care Facility will have its roof and boiler replaced, elevator refurbished and bathing rooms on each floor remodeled in a spa concept.
Myers Manor will receive a new roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, hallway renovations and a cafe renovation and expansion.
The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.