Construction crews raised the final steel beam into place Friday on an expansion project at Spanish Cove.
Don Blose, the senior living center’s chief executive officer, along with officials from Boldt Construction, said the project is at the 50 percent mark, with completion of the $20 million project expected by March.
Crews began the project, which will add 20 skilled nursing rooms, 11 assisted living units and will create a memory care unit at the facility, in November.
Blose said the memory care unit will be the first of its kind at Spanish Cove and will be greatly needed in the future as the number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age continues to grow.
Trey Featherly, a spokesperson for Boldt, said the project was slowed by heavy rains in the spring as well as in August, but will finish early next year.
So far, the project has used 1,400 cubic yards of concrete, 320,000 pounds of steel, 80 tons of rebar and precast walls that weigh more than 2 million pounds.
Blose said he is excited to see the next portion of the project move forward.
“This project, this beam we’ve got here, is representative of the move for improving our health facility,” Bose said.
Dozens of people signed the beam before it was lifted into place, including residents Gail and Calvin Kelley.
The couple, who met and married at the facility, said they are excited about the changes that are coming to Spanish Cove.
“It’s exciting,” said Gail Kelley, who has lived at Spanish Cove’s independent living facilities for 13 years.
Her husband has been at Spanish Cove for 10 years.
Blose said the facility, which was created by retired teachers, is continuing to provide the services the founders had sought.
“This place started out with a vision of teachers. One of the things they wanted to accomplish was a place where other teachers could abide at an affordable cost. To keep teachers from walking or driving over the border to take jobs in Texas and Kansas. Did we succeed in that? Probably not, but they have succeeded in this community being the community that sets the standard for retirement care, retirement living, for aging well and for finishing well,” Blose said.
Meanwhile, he said planning is underway for a second project that will added a new four-story independent living complex to Spanish Cove, as well as renovations to the current facilities and the construction of a new community center.
He said there is no timetable for that project to begin, but it will likely be after the first phase is completed in about a year.