View new Pine Haven plans Tuesday

PHILMONT–The public will have a chance to view and comment on plans for the $32-million, 212,000-square-foot, 128-bed facility slated to replace the county’s Pine Haven’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at two public information sessions Tuesday, May 8.

The first meeting is at 3 p.m. at Pine Haven, 201 Main Street; the second is at 7 p.m. at the Philmont Village Hall, 124 Main Street. Columbia County Commissioner of Public Works Dave Robinson and a representative from the architectural design firm Fontanese Folts Aubrecht Ernst Architects (FFAE) will make the presentations.


The current building, built in the 1970s, is geared to different standards of care, said Columbia County Comptroller Ron Caponera. The county would like to provide a better, more up-to-date and efficient facility for long-term care and rehabilitation.

“We are looking forward to sharing all the thought that has been put into designing the new Pine Haven building,” Claverack town Supervisor Robin Andrews said in an email this week, adding, “Not only are we excited to share this home based model of care, but also to gather input from citizens.”

Some residents are concerned about the site chosen for the project, which is planned for a different part of the county’s property in the village so that the present facility will not have to be demolished. Local resident Al Wassenhove has pressed officials to use the existing structure as a veterans’ service center once the new nursing and rehabilitation facility comes online.

Access to the new facility site involves traversing a 70-foot deep ravine, and the residents concerned about the location of the new facility cite the cost of providing that access.

The new site will require over $5 million in pre-construction work before building can begin. Construction cost for the structure is estimated at $17 million.

The state Department of Health will provide reimbursement amounting to $239,000 per bed or $30,592,000. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $32.35 million to fund the Pine Haven replacement project last November, after hearing that the entire project except for interest would be funded by the state. This would include design and other aspects of the new facility.

Planning for the facility has been done by members of a county Human Services Subcommittee, which includes Lawrence Andrews(Ghent), chairman, Robin Andrews(Claverack), Edward Cross(Hudson), Kevin McDonald, Ray Staats, Sara Sterling(Hudson), Elizabeth Young(Taghkanic), Richard Keaveney( Canaan) with David Robinson and the county Department of Public Works.

In January the current facility was 95% occupied, said Arthur Proper, Director of Pine Haven, in his report to the Committee for Health and Medical Services.

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