Dan Hust | Democrat
Sullivan County Adult Care Center Administrator Cathy Rauschendorfer goes over renovation plans with Construction Manager Steve Lundgren inside the wing being converted into the Severe Dementia Unit. The area in which they stand will become the nurses’ station.
Renovations start at County ACC
Story by Dan Hust
LIBERTY April 30, 2013 Workers on the Sullivan County Adult Care Center’s (ACC’s) new Alzheimer’s and Short-Term Rehabilitation units are speeding towards an October completion deadline.
One first-floor wing of the 23-year-old Liberty facility is being transformed into the Secure Dementia Unit (the official name of the 34-bed Alzheimer’s ward).
The unit will be self-contained, allowing residents to communally but privately enjoy a new dining/activities area and an outdoor patio all their own.
Staff will get a new nurses’ station, while the rooms and hallways are being refloored and repainted. Common spaces will also see new ceilings.
On the opposite side of the ACC, seven semi-private rooms will become fully private, some with showers. To be called the Short-Term Rehab Unit, the first-floor area will be set aside for those needing just a quick stay to regain physical mobility.
Here, too, there’ll be a new nurses’ station, plus an expanded therapy room. Officials are even hoping to add wireless services for the public.
Just down the hall, the main dining area and lobby will also see work, with enough funds left over in the $1.2 million project to extend the reception area and redo the floors and lighting in the dining room.
Work will begin on the rehab unit once the dementia unit is substantially complete, probably around mid-June, indicated ACC Administrator Cathy Rauschendorfer.
She said the Alzheimer’s area will be the first of its kind in the county.
“It’s desperately needed,” she affirmed. “We’re going to so much better be able to meet the needs of our residents here.”
Indeed, that’s a necessity on the county government side, too, as the ACC must remain competitive and thus bring in revenue in order for county taxpayers to be able to continue to afford funding it.
While rearranging staff schedules and residents’ accommodations has been stressful (this is the largest construction project Rauschendorfer has ever helped oversee), she said Construction Manager Steve Lundgren, Public Works employees, the NYS Dept. of Health, and Art Hussey of the county’s Grants Administration Dept. have offered invaluable help.
“They’ve been great,” she remarked.
“In spite of an extremely compressed time frame [due to grant requirements], the work is progressing on schedule, thanks in large part to a cooperative team that includes the four prime contractors, the entire ACC staff, and all of the DPW team, who have been extremely helpful,” added Lundgren.
And should the necessary $375,000 in funding be found, the next project will be repairing the ACC’s roof, which has been leaking badly enough to require two rooms’ closure for the past three months.
Rauschendorfer said the rooms have now been reopened, thanks to temporary DPW repairs.