Steamboat Springs Forty-seven Steamboat residents have been watching their new home slowly rise out of the ground; some have been driving by in vans, others keeping tabs the construction project via video tapes. And while residents of Routt Memorial Hospital's Extended Care Center have mixed feelings about leaving the comfort of their rooms, all of them are getting anxious to pack their bags and move into the new Doak Walker Center.
The facility, on the Yampa Valley Medical Center campus on Central Park Drive, should be ready sometime this fall.
"It's pretty amazing," the ECC's Carol Schaffer said. "The center is really progressing in leaps and bounds. Every time I drive by, it's further along. They're putting on the roof right now."
In spite of losing two weeks because of rain, construction is still on schedule, Steamboat Springs Health Care Association Chief Financial Officer Dean Sandvik said.
"We're telling families we'll be able to move them in by Nov. 1," Schaffer said.
The existing ECC, in the old hospital at 80 Park Ave., was built in the 1960s and has 49 beds, 47 of which are currently filled.
"The building is getting pretty old," Sandvik said.
Its age, coupled with the fact that hospital officials want to integrate all services onto the Yampa Valley Medical campus in order to coordinate care, are the reasons that a new ECC is being constructed.
The Doak Walker Center will include hospice, transitional care for post-operative recovery, and will also continue to be an extended care center for senior citizens. The new facility will have 59 beds.
"This is really all we see the market demand being," Sandvik said, referring to the minimal increase in size between the old and new centers. "In any case, the facility can be expanded around. It's laid out so that we can make a box out of what will initially be an 'L' shape. But, I don't foresee us needing to do that anytime soon."
The facility is approximately 27,000 square feet, and will cost about $6 million to build. The health care association, which runs the hospital, received a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant. The remainder was borrowed.
Some residents of the existing ECC are hesitant to leave, Schaffer said.
"They're comfortable. One gentleman told his family he's really going to miss his room," she said.
To make the transition easier and more enjoyable, residents are helping to choose colors and furniture for the new center.
"We're sharing with them as the plans go along. Some people are testing out different styles of chairs; the families and residents are getting to vote on color and furniture."
At this point, planners and participants have chosen four main colors: teal, lavender, blue and terra cotta. Each hallway will be one of the four colors, as a way to help people find their way around.
Also on the new hospital's campus, a medical offices building is beginning to fill up. Four tenants have moved in as of last week, Sandvik said. At this point, about 70 percent of the building is either occupied or has been spoken for, he said.
Space in the medical office building is being leased to tenants by the health care association.
"Whether or not to actually sell the spaces is still being discussed. Physicians would like to own their space rather than lease, and we're pursuing discussions regarding purchase options at this point," he said.
Some of the local physicians either occupying or moving into the building include Dr. Edward Kimm, Dr. Eric Verploeg, Dr. Gary Snook and Dr. Brian Bomberg.
To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org