Richardton to build new nursing home, clinic

 

After five years of operating in a repurposed facility, the Richardton Healthcare Foundation is getting ready to break ground on a brand new building.

The group invovled in the new clinic process dig their shovels into the ground during the ceremonial breaking ground ceremony.
The group invovled in the new clinic process dig their shovels into the ground during the ceremonial breaking ground ceremony.
 An artists rendering of what the new Richardton Health Center & Richardton Clinic will look like upon completion. Design by HGFA Architects.
An artists rendering of what the new Richardton Health Center & Richardton Clinic will look like upon completion. Design by HGFA Architects.

Posted August 29, 2014

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

 

After five years of operating in a repurposed facility, the Richardton Healthcare Foundation is getting ready to break ground on a brand new building.

The current building was once used as a critical care facility. After finding it difficult to staff the proper doctors and garegivers for an institution of critical care, they partnered with St. Joseph’s in Dickinson and relinquished that portion of their services to them.

When the foundation lost their services, they converted it to a long term care facility and has been successful for the past five years.

Though it has been operating at a successful rate, the board knew that at some point there was going to be changes needed.

Since the building was not built as a nursing home, and though efforts have been made to change the atmosphere, it still has an ‘institutional’ feeling to it. Along with the aesthetic surroundings, the current building requires residents to share rooms, which constrains the foundation from placing residents because they cannot mix genders within the same room.

When exploring the possibility of renovating or expanding, the board realized that it wasn’t going to be a possibility, due to geographic constraints and other costs associated with a complete renovation.

“We’re just not able to expand,” said Megan Pritzl, Administrator at the Richardton Healthcare & Richardton Clinic.

So the board needed to make a decision.

After considering their options, they decided that they needed to build.

“We are the largest employer in Richardton, we have 40 care givers and staff at the nursing home, and we have nine staff members and providers at the clinic and that’s why the board has been fighting so hard for the past five years to keep this open,” said Dori Reich, Vice President of the Richardton Healthcare Foundation. “With so many people on our payroll, the board said ‘we’re not going to let that [closing] happen’.”

The facility has been serving the community for more than 60 years

After selecting an architect from Montana, they have the plans and are ready to move forward. The whole project is estimated at $6.2 million, and according to Reich, have a $5.5 million USDA direct loan. Right now the foundation is looking to raise another $2 million towards the project. How those funds will be raised has not been decided.

The new facility will be located about 1/2 mile from the current building. It will sit adjacent to Highway 10 and Highway 8 on a piece of 5.4 acre land purchased from Assumption Abbey. The area was chosen because, according to Pretzl, it is sufficient enough to hold the facility. The building is going to be a one story structure so it needed enough area to include all of the amenities.

The new nursing portion of the healthcare center is going to be a 24 bed facility with the potential to grow to 28 beds. The current nursing home is a 20 bed facility.

It will carry the same name as the current facility, Richardton Health Center & Richardton Clinic, and will include the clinic under one roof separated by a common area.

The Richardton Health Center & Richardton Clinic is constantly receiving high marks for its service, according to Reich. Reich said this was another reason cited for continuing to serve the community.

“We continually receive high marks from our industry leaders, North Dakota Longterm Care Association gives us high marks, and we fully lay that on the administration and the caregivers,” Rich said. “If it weren’t for the care they’re giving, we wouldn’t have those kind of four star ratings.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking event took place June 2, but due to ongoing negotiations with the contractor, a date for actual construction is still yet to be decided.

The project, when ever it starts, is contracted to take 365 days.

“Once they break ground, and start, the residents should be able to move in in one year,” Reich said.

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