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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Greenwich Nursing Home Revamp Gets the Greenlight

GREENWICH, Conn. — Nathaniel Witherell's residents will see a total revamp of the town-owned nursing home in the next few years, thanks to approval of a $22.5 million renovation project.

The Representative Town Meeting gave its okay Monday night, 153-28, to spend $20.2 million to update the three-building facility after years of proposals being shot down. The state has agreed to reimburse the town for 55 percent of the cost.

Final approval means the nursing home work will become a major infrastructure project in the next few years. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 and finish in 2014.

Renovations for Nathaniel Witherell have been requested since 2002, when a $45.5 million project to replace each building was rejected. A $37 million plan was rejected by the state because of its cost.

Witherell's administration building, built in 1933, has no fire protection sprinklers, which does not meet state standards, nursing home director Allen Brown said earlier this year. One residential building, built in 1961, has 10 rooms with four beds. “It’s not a contemporary environment and people don’t like being in there, so it’s more difficult to keep these rooms occupied and satisfy people with those accommodations,” said Brown. The four-bed rooms will be eliminated, and the total number of private bedrooms will increase from 26 to 60. Double-occupancy rooms will increase from 136 to 142.

None of the three buildings has sufficient emergency generator capability. Public health codes require the facility to be able to replace 80 percent of its electricity. Now, it can replace only 25 percent. Other issues addressed in the plan include heating and hot water system improvements, bathroom and nursing station revamps and an expanded rehabilitation area.

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