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Richardton Health Center starting major remodel

Richardton Health Center is starting a $856,340 renovation project Aug. 30.

The center's board decided to change its business plan in March which included offering physician hours one day a week, according to a previous Press article. And though it's a major expansion for the center, it will still only mean a physician on hand one day a week.

The remodel will involve

upgrades to meet the life safety

code for skilled nursing facilities, installation of fire sprinkler system, window and roofing changes, heating ventilation and air conditioning upgrades and improvements to resident living areas.

The total project cost is $856,340 for approximately 22,000 square feet.

The money for the project is coming from two grants, donations to the Richardton Health Care Foundation, funding from Catholic Health Initiatives and government funding.

The grants were from the North Dakota Community Foundation and the Bremmer Foundation.

"A lot of people forget that a nursing home is not just a building, it's actually somebody's home," said John Gengler, board chairman. "And just like anyone else's home after so many years, in our case 50-plus, you need to make some changes and modernize your living space."

"And clinics house not only administrative staff, but also sick patients and nurses who work 12-hour shifts. They all deserve to feel comfortable and happy while they stay with us," Gengler said.

"I really enjoyed my stay there, I was in for a few months and was taken very well care of," Ruth Sayler said of Gengler's desire to keep the clinic and nursing home a happy place.

A big change to the nursing home is the new entrance, which will no longer be split level, but will instead direct visitors to the new nurses' station.

Previous changes to the nursing home were new beds, upgraded bathrooms, a flower garden and flooring changes.

The next step is replacing the windows and lighting to make the nursing home brighter and more cheerful.

Changes to the clinic include a new lab and equipment, carpeting, paint and a furnace upgrade is possibly in the works.

"It's a worthwhile project," said Clara Paulson, Taylor resident. "It is something that our community needs."

"Even with all of our big changes I think the change people will notice the most is the carpeting because it use to be this ugly green color, I heard one resident who brought their child into the clinic say 'This is the same green carpet they had when I was a kid,' it's definitely a time for a change when people start noticing those things," Gengler said.