Local group purchases nursing home, remodeling scheduled

The purchase of the Valley View Manor building by local investors will be finalized this week, said Pam Young, the operating manager of the project which aims to reopen the nursing home.

The sale was imminent at the end of January, when officials from Mariner Health Care came to an agreement with the investors about a price for the facility.

The deal was delayed while lawyers made sure Mariner could legally sell the building despite a recent bankruptcy.

Young said it took time for the parties to wade through the 280-page bankruptcy document to determine if the title was clear and not held in a bankruptcy court somewhere.

The sale will be official this week, Young said.

Next week, the remodeling of the building will begin.

"I hope we can get in there next week and get started. We're bringing it back up to code for a skilled nursing facility," Young said. "We went through all the regulations last week with the architect."

The building needs to be renovated to comply with current life safety codes. Young declined to specify the cost of the upgrades, but she said it was an expense the investors were expecting.

"There hasn't been any real surprises so far that we weren't aware of when we bought the building," Young said.

The architect who is working on the project is Robert Ralston, who operates out of Steamboat Springs.

Young said he is a longtime Yampa Valley architect who knows life safety codes and understands the requirements of nursing homes and hospitals.

The exact category under which the home will be licensed will be determined by the company that manages it. That company will negotiate with the state about acquiring a license to operate the facility.

The investors will hire a management company to run the home.

"We'll probably start the interviewing process in the next 30 days with potential management groups," Young said.

Five companies are interested in managing it, Young said.

Once the management company has committed, it will have to apply to the state for certification. That process can take 30 to 90 days or longer, Young said.

The interested companies will "start coming in the next 30 days to look at the facility and see if it's something they want to pursue," Young said.

Three of the companies have not seen the building.

The loss of the home, which created a public outcry in Moffat County, also is making waves at the state level. Young said state officials told her they have been inundated with phone calls regarding the nursing home in Craig.

While Young is hopeful that the renovations can begin next week, the complicated project won't be completed overnight.

"I think the very soonest we'll be able to admit a patient will be at least August or September," Young said.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com

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