Upscale senior project proposed

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Complex would offer 90 units


ROME TOWNSHIP — A second senior living complex for the eastern end of Lawrence County is in the works as a Columbus-based company has announced plans for a $12 million project.

Chancellor Health Partners Inc. plans to build Wyngate Senior Living at River’s Edge, a 90-apartment complex across from the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, with groundbreaking expected in the spring.

The community will be made up of 30 independent living apartments overlooking the Ohio River; 40 assisted living apartments and 20 units for Alzheimer’s patients.

Those choosing the independent living arrangement will have an apartment with private patio or balcony. Meals and housekeeping services will be offered on site.

The assisted living units will have 24-hour oversight and nursing staff, housekeeping and three meals daily. Those eligible for this arrangement typically need help with bathing, dressing, cooking, eating or walking.

Also on the campus will be a 4,000-square-foot urgent care center operated by Cabell Huntington Hospital. That facility will serve Wyngate residents as well as the community.

This announcement comes just about a month after the Pirhl Developers of Cleveland proposed an assisted living complex for senior citizens only a few miles from the Chancellor project.

The Pirhl project would offer 40 to 50 units on a site across from the Fairland East Elementary School. The project, which is being touted as affordable senior housing, is expected to cost $8 million and would be in partnership with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization. Also part of the project would be a senior center open to the surrounding communities and the only one in the eastern end of the county since the closure of the Sybene Senior Center this past summer.

This project would be located adjacent to the St. Mary’s Medical Center modular family practice and dentistry clinics.

The Lawrence County Commissioners have already given their support to this project by agreeing to invest up to $150,000 over a two-year period of its Community Development Block Grants. Of that funding $100,000 would go toward a sanitary sewer line expansion to the project and possible subsequent developments in the area.

However, community leaders see a need for both projects in an area that they call underserved as far as providing senior services.

“I am really excited about it and glad to hear it,” Commissioner Freddie Hayes said. “We need it there. There is nothing up there like that.”

Commissioner Bill Pratt contends the area is able to support services from two competing medical centers.

“They have two hospitals across the river,” Pratt said. “This will be a different type of senior housing, all private pay with no Medicaid, for a different group of people.

“It is great for the county, great for Rome, great for seniors. It will really benefit Lawrence County.”