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A new manor: Granite Falls nursing home project moving forward

George Gerlach, administrator of the Granite Falls Hospital and Manor nursing home, stands outside the 1958-built nursing home that is to be replaced. Tribune file photo

GRANITE FALLS — Plans to construct a new nursing home to replace a 57-bed facility built in 1958 are moving forward in Granite Falls.

The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has indicated it will allocate $11 million in low-interest financing for the project.

Granite Falls City Council and Granite Falls Hospital Board members took action on Monday to arrange for the financing. The financing package could be completed in a couple of months, according to George Gerlach, administrator of the Granite Falls Hospital and Manor nursing home.

The USDA Rural Development commitment to provide financing allows the hospital to call for construction bids and move the project forward, according to Gerlach. Constructions bids will be opened July 10, and work on the project should be underway by summer’s end.

The hospital is hopeful of meeting plans to open the new facility on July 1, 2015.

A new, roughly 50,000-square-foot facility will be built at a site on the city’s east side. The 48-bed facility is designed to include two “neighborhoods” with four “households,” according to Gerlach.

It will also include a kitchen and dietary department to serve both the nursing home and Granite Falls Hospital.

The new facility’s location is not part of the existing hospital and nursing home campus. Gerlach said they are currently exploring a variety of options for the nursing home facility when it is closed. The proposals include remodeling it to accommodate offices for the hospital and other users, a food shelf, and possibly overnight lodging for on-call ambulance crew members.

The Granite Falls Hospital and Manor obtained an exemption from the state in March 2013 to build the new nursing home. The hospital must be committed to construction by Sept. 25 or seek a new exemption to the state’s moratorium on new nursing home beds.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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