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County nursing home unveils $12m rehab wing, other building improvements

Union Leader Correspondent

January 18. 2018 10:10PM
A harpist greeted visitors at the new rear entrance during an open house Thursday at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — The Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center unveiled a $12 million renovation project Thursday that includes a new 18-bed short-term rehabilitation wing.

An open house was held at the North Road facility formerly known as the Rockingham County Nursing Home to show off the work that began about a year ago in an effort to modernize the building and improve services.

Approximately 60,000-square-feet of the nursing home was renovated to create the short-term rehabilitation wing, a new rear entrance with a switchboard and a new cafeteria with expanded seating areas.

The renovated space is scheduled to open on Feb. 5 while renovations continue on the Blaisdell floors of the nursing home.

The improvements will result in a total of 202 beds for those who need long-term care and 18 beds for short-term rehabilitation.

The nursing home lost 24 beds to accommodate the new rehabilitation space, but officials said some of those were in outdated four-bed wards with no bathrooms.

“The key is we’re not leaving our long-term roots. The bulk of our beds are still for long term, but what we explained to the delegation years ago when we started doing rehab is that there are people from our county that also need short-term rehab and we want to be able to accommodate them as well. This makes it a premier short-term stay unit,” said Steve Woods, the facility’s administrator and long-term care services director.

Pictures with scenic views from towns around Rockingham County line the halls of the new short-term rehabilitation wing at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

The new entrance will be named Singer Entrance and Singer Courtyard to honor Dr. Karl Singer, the facility’s medical director.

County Commissioner Kevin St. James said he and other commissioners were pleased with the work done by Warrenstreet Architects of Concord and others who worked on the project.

“I hope the taxpayers are happy. We did a lot of work for $12 million and we think it was a great return for the taxpayers. We have a state-of-the-art rehabilitation service,” St. James said.

St. James said the short-term rehabilitation will be critical for residents in the county who need a local facility to receive services after hip and knee replacements and other procedures. He said it will be more convenient because they won’t have to travel to rehabilitation facilities outside the county.

The rehabilitation wing will also generate more revenue, St. James said.

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