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Nursing home officially breaks ground

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MALONE — The large space that soon will be home to the Alice Hyde Medical Center Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility has been alive with activity the past week as construction workers prepared the land for building.

But work paused for the facility’s official groundbreaking. Present were Franklin County legislators; Malone village and town officials; state Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru; state Sen. Elizabeth O’C. Little, R-Queensbury; and representatives from PC Construction, which is the company responsible for building the facility. Once complete, the facility will combine the Alice Hyde nursing home with the county’s.

“As you can see, we’ve begun building the future of specialized care ... for the elderly in our community,” said Douglas F. DiVello, president and CEO of the medical center, adding that it has taken six years to get to this point.

“This is really underway, and it’s exciting to be here,” said Ms. Little. “It’s always difficult to get everybody together when there’s change. Working together is something that has really happened here.”

Ms. Little was referring to the coordinated efforts between past and present county and medical center officials to create the combined facility.

“This is something that is going to be very attractive and a model to other counties,” she said.

“To think that, here in Malone, we’re going to have an absolute state-of-the-art facility is incredible,” Mrs. Duprey added. “Assisted living is such a need.”

The facility will included 135 nursing home beds and 30 assisted living beds. Franklin County currently does not have assisted living services, and Mr. DiVello has said there are patients in the nursing home who should be in assisted living.

“We’re going to put the shovels in the ground today, but I can hardly wait to come back and walk through the doors,” Mrs. Duprey said.

D. Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, chairman of the county Board of Legislators, noted that legislators have worked with medical center officials over the past six years toward creating the joint facility.

“Some very tough decisions were made by all these people,” he said. “We came together and we did it right. This is a model for everyone around New York state. It’s a public-private partnership that works.”

Mr. DiVello said in the past that the facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, provided that construction does not hit major snags.

The building is set to cost $35 million. Mr. DiVello said the county will contribute $1 million per year for 10 years.

Alice Hyde Medical Center also received $9.3 million in state funding; the rest of the money will be borrowed.

Amenities for the new facility include the nursing home being separated into “neighborhoods” of between 12 and 28 beds each, country kitchen-style dining rooms and a large social space for each neighborhood. The nursing home also will have an atrium and a courtyard.

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