An $8.5 million nursing home and rehabilitation on the north side of Duncan is expected to be finished early next year.
When finished, the 120-bed facility will be the first new nursing home that’s been built in decades in the Duncan area, said Jeff Gregston, who administers two of the six nursing home facilities in Stephens County.
The building site, which sits atop a gently sloping hill just north of W. Elk Avenue at McCasland Parkway, is on a 77-acre parcel, with open prairie to its east.
The steel framing of the 65,000 square-foot facility is nearing completion, but there’s still a long way to go.
“There’s a huge need,” said Gregston, adminstrator for Gregston Nursing Home in Marlow and Country Club Care in Duncan.
“It’s not a good situtation when it does happen, but to make it as comfortable as possible, in the best setting you can, that’s my goal. I’ve pretty much proved with the one I’ve got in Marlow, at Gregston Nursing Home, I’ve always been a 5-star home since they’ve had the rating. I’ve always been able to put out that product, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do here. It’s going to be easier to do because it’s doing to be in a brand new facility.”
Unlike some states, Okahoma nursing care providers receive no incentives from the state to build new facilities, Gregston said.
As a result, fewer new facilities are built in Oklahoma than other states like Arkansas that provide financial incentives for capital projects.
Gregston will call his new facility Elk Crossing.
One half of Elk Crossing will be devoted to short-term stays for patients undergoing rehabilitation. The other half will be for long-term care.
Separating the two halves will be a broad walkway with storefronts on either side.
“It’s gonna kind of look just like a Main Street,” Gregston said. “You’ll have a chapel, a conference room, a mayor’s office, a barbershop with a pole, ice cream parlor. It’ll all look like storefronts.”
Behind the storefronts will be working offices. Gregston expects to employ about 100 when the facility is full.
At the back of the structure, on the north side, will be spaces devoted to either classrooms, a day care facility or maybe a dance studio, Gregston said.
There will be playground outside, he said.
The idea is have children present during different times of the day, Gregston said.
“We’re just trying to get the kids involved because there have been a number of studies that people love to watch kids and it helps their day pass, and the kids like to have elderly people around to read them stories,” he said. “There’s been a lot of good research done on that.”
Facilities in Jenks and Enid use that approach now, he said.
Gregston is unsure what will be done with the rest of the 77-acre parcel that surrounds Elk Crossing. Builders have expressed interest in contructing homes that could accommodate patients who complete their rehabilitation stays, he said.
“We haven’t really decided whether we’re going to do it ourselves or sell that part off,” he said.
“It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of stress to get it all finished and up and running, but it’s going to be great.”