After nearly a year of delays, Rocky Mountain Care is on track to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art facility early next year, company officials say.
Tooele City approved a rezone for the facility, which is to be located at 85 E. 2000 North near Mountain West Medical Center, in October of last year.
However, J. R. Bangerter, chief operating officer for Rocky Mountain Care, said delayed financing and negotiations regarding a nearby right-of-way postponed the project, causing the company’s building permit to expire.
The Tooele City Council voted earlier this month to re-issue that permit now that Rocky Mountain Care has resolved the question of right-of-way on 80 East and is within months of finalizing a loan to fund the project.
With the new permit, Bangerter said Rocky Mountain Care is on track to break ground for the proposed $17 million, 104-bed facility sometime next February or March.
Construction is expected to take another year and a half, he said, putting the facility’s opening sometime around 2016.
Bangerter said the facility will have two wings, one for rehabilitation following major medical operations and another for long-term nursing care. The facility will be equipped to provide just about any kind of therapy a patient may require — physical, occupational, speech — but will not include memory care, Bangerter said. The facility will also feature 24-hour nursing care.
Despite the plethora of medical offerings, the new care center will be designed with a distinctly un-medical atmosphere, Bangerter said. The building will be divided by a “main street” area that will include a meeting hall, a room to watch television, a library, and even an ice cream shop.
“It will feel like they’re in a hotel, not like they’ve gone to an old-folks home,” Bangerter said. “We’re really trying to change that image.”
Between all the services to be offered, Rocky Mountain Care administrator Paul Olgilvie said the company would have to nearly double the size of its Tooele-based staff. Bangerter said the total staff would range from 125–150 employees.
“We’re bringing a state-of-the-art facility to the town, and I think it’s just going to be a wonderful addition for all parties involved,” he said. “I think this will cause a lot of people to stay in Tooele, and not go into Salt Lake for these kinds of services.”