Asbury nearly complete

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Construction of a $1.5 million, 6,400-square-foot addition to Asbury Place Johnson City is progressing rapidly and expected to ready to occupy in July.

After ceremoniously breaking ground on the expansion in June, the skilled and intermediate nursing care facility at North Roan and East Myrtle Avenue made some revisions in the plans for the building that delayed the start of the construction until December. Since then the new building has quickly taken shape and Wednesday, builders placed the roof over the facility’s new entrance.

When complete the addition will provide a country-style kitchen, dining room, activity room and covered patio, all designed to enhance the residents’ home environment. The expansion will also provide a new therapy area with twice the space currently available for speech, occupational and physical therapy, and new administrative offices that will for the first time bring all of health care center’s operations under one roof.

“There aren’t words to tell you how excited I am to get into the new building, especially for the residents who don’t have a dining room or common area for activities right now,” said Mark de Fluiter, who is wrapping up his first week as facility’s new administrator.

With the new addition and the completion of a single-level nursing wing added to Asbury Place six years ago, the health care center has vacated most of the former Johnson City Memorial Hospital building which is being sold to a new owner. While he could not disclose the new owner’s identity on Wednesday, de Fluiter said the sale of the former hospital building is on schedule for closing in the very near future.

Long-running negotiations between Asbury Place and Johnson City officials for the health care center’s purchase of the Johnson City Juvenile Court building are also continuing. The court building is located directly across Myrtle Avenue from the new addition and Asbury Place hopes to purchase the property for future expansion of the facility.

“It’s a very exciting time for Asbury Place,” Stacy Orren, the center’s business office manager, said. “It’s exciting for us to look forward to the future.”

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