New facility should be built by Nov. 1 |

New facility should be built by Nov. 1

— Despite having to replace an architect and redesign the building, the new Doak Walker Extended Care Center is on target for a November 1 completion date.

Construction is underway on the Steamboat Springs Health Care Association’s extended care facility, which will be attached to the new Yampa Valley Medical Center at 1024 Central Park Drive.

“We expect to have our building permit by the end of the week,” hospital board president and construction committee member Bob Maddox said. “We’ve had some setbacks, but really, they’re not too big of a deal. All our problems are resolved and we’re right on schedule with the project. The excavation and ground work is complete and we’re concentrating on getting the parking lot done first.”

Problems with the project arose last spring when the architect group designing the building, Davis Partnership, turned in a proposal that was beyond the SSHCA’s construction budget.

“We were told that their design was the most expensive skilled nursing facility on a price per bed basis in North America,” Maddox said. “They were answering to what they thought we wanted, but we simply don’t need a facility of that type or size. It would have been irresponsible to build that type of facility.”

When the construction committee decided to scale down Davis Partnership’s plan, the architectural group wasn’t sure it wanted to continue working with health care association. They consequently resigned from the project, Maddox said.

“Davis took the blame for coming up with the project,” he said. “It created a false start on the project because we had to come up with a new design. That’s been our biggest setback.”

With Davis Partnership’s departure, the construction committee turned to a consultant who had been working on the project.

Vaught Frye is a design company that builds nursing facilities for Columbine Health Care Systems in Ft. Collins. Because it had been involved from the start of the project, Maddox said it was a logical choice to help pick up the pieces.

“The original plans were drawn for fewer beds and a bigger building,” Maddox said. “The original design mirrored the hospital design, with large corridors and open atmosphere. The new and less-expensive design has a more residential feel than an institutional one.”

The new 26,000-square-foot facility’s construction budget is $7 million. The facility will house 56 beds, a hospice room, sun rooms, living area, fireplace, central nursing station and dining area.

“The biggest difference from the health care side of things will be the acute care capabilities the new facility will have,” Maddox said.

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