Authority’s new nursing home advances
The Smithville Hospital Authority is narrowing down its architect for its nursing home proposed near Seton hospital that will replace the 50-year-old Towers Nursing Home building.
The authority’s board met last month and voted to see a presentation by architect Bill Davies of Leander-based DFD Architects as well as presentations by two possible project managers for the proposed $8 million to $10 million nursing home.
Donovan Dekowski with Regency Healthcare System said he expects residential numbers to increase by about 20 percent with the new building. Regency Healthcare manages Towers Nursing Home for the authority and will lease the new building to run a nursing home.
“There is enough population that there are Smithville people residing in Austin nursing homes, and we will get them all back,” Donovan said. “With the new building, we’ll be able to provide the same services that Austin homes do.”
City Manager Robert Tamble asked the authority to include a drainage study since the building will be located in “the bowl,” 256 acres of surrounding lands that culminate in the lowest elevations around Seventh Street, which experiences flooding during heavy rains.
The city is starting to build a 3.4-acre grass detention pond with Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funds behind Seventh and Marburger streets to alleviate flooding. Tamble cautioned that the pond only addresses current development and does not include the new nursing home facility.
“We have to make sure that water doesn’t back-flow to Seventh Street,” he said. “Get us involved early and we’ll help you get through the process.”
Dekowski said Regency Healthcare also would be as involved in the project as the authority wanted it to be. “We’ll help because we have a vested interest,” Dekowski said.
Authority board members greenlighted the new nursing home building in December and in February decided who will be involved in the project.
At its Feb. 21 board meeting, the board voted to see a presentation from architect Bill Davies of DFD Architects, who has designed over 400 nursing homes, including a facility in Cuero, which members of the authority toured last month.
The group liked the Cuero design because two wings of the building separated the long-term residents from those seeking short-term rehabilitation care. Requesting a modified Cuero building plan rather than starting from scratch may lower design costs, said Trent Krienke, the attorney representing the authority.
The board also voted to view presentations from two possible project managers, Zachary Stevenson of ADAMS Management Services and Kyle Workman of Workman Construction Advisors.
After a draft plan, the authority will send out a request for bids for construction. The board discussed adding the tear down of the existing Towers building as part of the request.
At the request of the authority, Smithville in December annexed the 6.1 acres where the new nursing home is going and in January the property was rezoned to highway commercial.
After the new nursing home is complete, the 5.1 acres housing the Towers Nursing Home and former Smithville Medical Clinic may be torn down to make way for smaller homes for senior living.