The Fulton County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will be moving to a new location next year. A new home for the center is being built on Highway 62, Cooper Management President Jim Cooper said.
"Our facility in Fulton County is good but times change," Cooper said. "People need more space and privacy and many things have become outdated."
The new 45,000-square-foot facility will be located on Highway 62 where the Ozark Motel, formerly owned by Karrol and Vicki Fowlkes, used to be. Eight acres purchased from Hugh Whitledge of Salem will also be used. Whitledge would sell his property only after he knew it would be used as the site of the new nursing and rehabilitation center, Cooper said.
The new facility will have a larger kitchen and dining facility and nursing stations will be more modernized.
The cost of the facility is expected to be approximately $4.1 to $4.2 million, Cooper said. "If construction costs keep going up like they have in the past four or five months, it may be closer to $5 million," he said.
Smithers Construction Company of San Antonio, Texas, is the general contractor for the project. Cooper said Smithers specializes in making nursing homes and hotels. "They do everything from the first shovel of dirt to the end," he said.
"There were other places but we felt like we need to be on Highway 62," Cooper said. He said a location on Highway 62 would provide visibility for the facility and make it easier to find for visitors. He said the area chosen between the Salem Post Office and South Fork Cafe provided that, as well as a connection to city water and sewage.
"Every room will have its own restroom and handwashing area," Cooper said. He added every hallway will have a centralized bathing area which will be easily accessible to patients and staff. The bathing area will have whirlpool tubs that will serve for therapeutic bathing.
It isn't just the residents of the nursing center who will use in the facility, Cooper said. "It will have a modern therapy department with an outpatient center," he said, adding that residents of the community who are need of such services can use the facility. He said it will be more convenient for Salem residents than driving somewhere else for outpatient services.
Cooper said he and his family own stock in 13 nursing homes. While not full owner, he runs the business end of the nursing homes through his company, Cooper Management.