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Nursing Home Gets OK to Move

Gifford Medical Center’s Randolph Facility Clears Last Regulatory Hurdle

Randolph — Gifford Medical Center has crossed the final regulatory hurdle to move its nursing home out of the hospital and into a new facility in Randolph Center, clearing the way for construction to begin next spring.

The Green Mountain Care Board approved Gifford’s certificate of need in a unanimous 5-0 vote on Thursday, according to a board spokeswoman. Approval from the state was the final hurdle to clear before Gifford could build a new nursing home on vacant land off Route 66, where it will relocate the 30-bed Menig Extended Care Facility.

The nursing home will be part of a larger development known as Hillside Senior Living Community, which could include up to five buildings for nursing care, assisted and independent living.

Gifford has been planning the project since 2006. The goal is to make Gifford’s main facility more efficient and also serve demand for more senior housing in the Randolph area.

“It’s been exciting but a long process,” Gifford Administrator Joe Woodin said Friday.

Gifford may do some minor work this fall, but major construction won’t begin until the spring and will last at least through the end of next year, Woodin said.

Once it moves all 30 nursing home residents out of the hospital, Gifford will renovate the old nursing home space for other existing services. It will convert the space into 25 single occupancy rooms for the medical-surgical and transitional care units, and then relocate the birthing center, the physical therapy gym, obstetrics and administrative offices to other renovated space within the hospital. The project is expected to cost nearly $12 million, of which $8.7 million would be for the nursing home construction, according to documents filed with the Green Mountain Care Board.

The nursing home would be the first of potentially five buildings at Hillside, which is intended for 30 acres of undeveloped farmland near Vermont Technical College. The project includes 30 nursing home beds, 20 assisted living units and 100 units for independent living space, although there is some flexibility on the proportion of assisted living to independent living, Woodin said. Estimated to cost $25 million, the entire Hillside development would be built over 15 to 20 years.

In August, Gifford received approval under the state’s Act 250 environmental law to build the first two phases of Hillside. Phase one is the nursing home and phase two is a 40-unit independent living facility. The details will be worked out in the coming months, Woodin said.

“We are going to go back and review all of our estimates and look at all of our numbers, the financial projections and the need issues,” Woodin said. “We’re going to be quite deliberate in the next few months to reaffirm the project details and the direction.”

Chris Fleisher can be reached at 603-727-3229 or cfleisher@vnews.com.