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Clark County Rehabilitation and Living Center Remodel Project Progressing Nicely
Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 -- 9:41 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

-The remodel and add on project at the Clark County Rehabilitation and Living Center in Owen is progressing nicely.

I spoke with Administrator Jane Schmitz and she provided some background on the project.

“About 4 years ago, we went through some strategic planning for the building. We were asked by the Finance Committee of the county to come up with a 5 years business plan for the facility and to project into the future how we were going to be financially viable going forward. We had contacted Community Living Solutions at that time. They are a company that’s one of our associations in long term care and they offered business planning/strategic planning.”

“So, we went through an exercise about a year about reviewing our operations, looking at our current demographic, projecting into the future what the demographics are going to look for with the elderly and people with disabilities future and how that would be looking. And deciding what we should do with our building.”

“Our building was built in 1922. Of course, we’ve gone through several remodeling projects in the course of that time. But the last one was done in the early 80s, so it’s probably been about 35 years since we’ve really done anything major to our building. So, it was time to start updating and looking at the future and how we’re going to provide services to the community as we go forward.”

Jane then talked about how the building project is progressing.

“From a building perspective, it’s been a great summer for us because we didn’t have a lot of rain. I know that’s not the case in many situations, especially the farmers! That’s been a disadvantage to them, but, for the building project, that has worked to our advantage. We had hoped to get started earlier in the spring. We were hoping by April 1st. However, with the late spring that we had and we had that snowfall in April, we couldn’t get on the ground until it was about mid-May.”
“Since then, they've been moving forward. They’re on schedule. They’re very happy. They provide us with a schedule for what they plan to complete within the next 3 week period of time. And, right now, they’re staying on schedule. Once the building is totally enclosed, they don’t have to worry about the elements anymore. So then, at that point, there should be nothing that should slow down the progress.”

“So, what we’re hoping to do is be in the building about mid-February of next year, 2019.”

Even with the construction, the Clark County Rehabilitation and Living Center is still open and functioning as always.

“We are open for full business for everybody at this point! Through the construction, of course, we’ve had to move our main entrance area. However, with the signage that we do have up, we are able to direct people to where they need to go. Our census has remained high and strong, so that’s great, along with we continue to get referrals and the community has been coming out for our outpatients services that we provide with our rehabilitation units. So, yes, it’s been going very well.”

Jane also explained the funding source for the project.

“The county board needed to take out a loan under the county umbrella, if you will, for the project. It is the expectation though that the Rehab Center will pay back that loan through our increase in our Medicare dollars and also private pay individuals. We did work with Wiffle, who is an accounting firm, and they helped us come up with, again, a business plan and how to accomplish the building project along with the ability to pay it back.”

Jane ended our interview by talking about the excitement by staff, patients and community members regarding the completion of the new building.

“We’re very excited about the opening of our new building. We’re hoping the community is very welcoming with that opening. There will be an open house once we’re in the building and we have everything completed. We appreciate all the support that we’ve gotten. A lot of positive comments from people within the community and visitors. Many of them saying, ‘we’re glad you’re doing it. It’s time. We look forward to the new building.’ I think staff are very excited. It gives everybody something to look forward too. It’s a new challenge. We’ll be changing the way we operate in the sense of how we are designed with our units and that type of thing. But we’re excited for that challenge, so it should be a great time for us.”

To reiterate, Jane said they hope to be in the new building by February of 2019.

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