DeKalb nursing center expansion project detailed
DeKALB – The DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center is poised to undergo an extensive expansion, pending City Council approval.
During Wednesday’s DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, John Heimbach of the Larson and Darby Group based in Rockford, presented the commission with a petition to amend the existing ordinance which will allow for renovations and expansions to the center at 2600 North Annie Glidden Road.
“The goal here is to make the overall facility more competitive and position itself better in the market moving forward into the next 10 years and beyond,” Heimbach said. “That’s really what’s driving this addition and these renovations at this time.”
The project is multifaceted and includes adding additional rooms, an activity center, upgrading the fire alarm system, putting in a nursing call system, adding a new chiller with a larger capacity than the existing one (which will be kept in use) and upgrading the boiler system, finishes and lighting. The landscape and exterior courtyards also will be upgraded.
“I think it’s a very good plan,” commissioner Katharina Barber said. “I volunteer at the nursing home so I’m glad it’s expanding. This seems like a plan that can actually materialize.”
Heimbach said the expansion and renovation has an 18-month time frame, and project organizers are hoping to start some of the interior renovations as early as January.
The 83,000-square-foot facility is currently licensed for 190 beds and is 18 years old. The expansion would add a 15,400-square-foot transitional care unit, which would be an 18-room addition, and include renovating 13 rooms in the existing wings.
The proposed activity center would alleviate some “logistical challenges” in the dining room, Heimbach said.
“Since we’re building an activity center in the heart of the facility, we’ll be able to use corridors that access that to transport meals, garbage, laundry and avoid traffic in the residential corridors.”
Heimbach said the nursing center conducted a parking study to ensure the campus would have sufficient parking with the added activity center, which would allow for recreational offerings for the residents.
There are 383 parking spaces on the campus, and the ordinance amendment requires only 326 spaces, said Dan Olson, principal planner for the city.
The commission unanimously approved a positive recommendation for the ordinance amendment and project. The City Council will vote on it at a later date.