Construction on the new Alice B. Tawes Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has been completed.
The new nursing home has 76 "skilled-nursing" beds available for long-term residents including rooms set aside for transitional patients who need extended rehabilitation therapy. The top floor offers an Assisted Living option for another 30 residents.
Regular visitors to McCready on scenic Cork Point have seen the four-story replacement go through a kaleidoscopic progression of appearances. First it was yellow, then blue, followed by white and an earth-tone gray - all in preparation for a replica brick-and-stucco exterior.
Before windows were installed, McCready Foundation board members and administrators took a "back-stage" peek of the building's interior, where they got a preview of the spectacular views of surrounding marshes and tidal tributaries.
One construction manager serving as a guide described the sight of various species of shorebirds he's spotted while working on the project, including ospreys and pelicans that occasionally snatch fish from Daughtery's Creek.
Here are some facts about the construction project:
- An estimated 2,500 cubic yards of soil raised the ground level nearly five feet
- 193 concrete pilings - buried 45 into the soil - form the subterranean foundation
- The new structure rises 60 feet above ground level
- An estimated 283 tons of steel was used to build the frame
- The new building's foundation is 44 inches from the old nursing home in some places
- A 20,000-gallon double-wall steel fuel tank lies 16 feet under ground
Installation of that tank was no small feat considering the area's soil conditions and high ground-water level. The tank site was "dewatered," a process that took several weeks and utilized temporary well points around the perimeter of the excavation to extract groundwater.
Construction began shortly after hospital and civic leaders participated in a
festive ground-breaking ceremony
in October 2008.