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Blessing and Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Healthcare Facility


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September 29, 2015

Salemtowne Retirement Community held a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on Sept. 22 for a new facility that is, in itself, groundbreaking.

Scheduled to open in mid-2017, the $42.5 million building will be the first new skilled nursing facility built in Winston-Salem based on the “household” or “neighborhood” concept of design. Instead of long hospital-style corridors, groups of 20 residents will live -- all in private rooms -- in “households” or “neighborhoods.” Each household will include a cook-to-order kitchen, living room and dining room, and will open into an outdoor courtyard.

The two-level building will be located on 7.89 of the 58 acres of land donated to Salemtowne by the family of Charles H. Babcock Jr. Encompassing about 127,000 square feet, just under the size of three football fields, the building will have a western wing housing 60 long-term care residents in three households, and 20 memory care residents in a fourth.

A corridor containing a rehabilitation gym as well as physical and occupational therapy spaces will attach that part of the building to an eastern wing with two areas for 40 short-term rehabilitation patients, a population that is currently underserved in Winston-Salem.

Each household is designed to mimic a normal home as much as possible. Visitors will enter through a common living room/dining room/kitchen area before going to residents’ rooms. Each household will have a “front door” leading to the central community area, within which is a common room area inspired by a garden house. Clerestory windows, vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, a “living wall” and a water wall will bring the feel of the outdoors into the common areas.

 “We know that quality of life is greatly enhanced for residents who live in facilities that follow this concept, because it closely mirrors the life they would have at home, said Mark Steele, Salemtowne’s President and Chief Executive Officer “They have easy access to the outdoors. Their rooms are quieter and more private because they are not on a heavily trafficked hallway. They will have cooked-to-order meals, and if they want a simple hot dog for dinner instead of the scheduled full meal, the staff person assigned to that household can make that happen for them.”

Once the new building is finished, Salemtowne will renovate the Phillips Healthcare Center, which currently houses long-term care residents, into assisted living suites and community spaces.

The building was designed by CJMW Architecture, which has designed new construction and renovations for over 25 senior living communities throughout the region. CJMW has been a pioneer in the development of the household model.

“This is among the largest we’ve designed, but although the building is modern and contemporary in its functionality, the households give it a more intimate, homelike feel,” said Alan L. Moore, AIA, the lead architect on the project. “In addition, we are honoring Salemtowne’s Moravian heritage, in the interior and exterior, with natural materials including stone, wood and wrought iron.”

Frank L. Blum Construction Company, the general contractor for the building, has been working on grading the site and plans to begin the concrete foundation in October. Stimmel & Associates PA is the civil engineer and landscape architect.