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Long-term care center nearly ready
Project manager Jack Enloe makes inspections inside a newly renovated portion of the Lanier Park Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Construction is winding down on the Northeast Georgia Health System’s new long-term health care center.

“If everything falls into place, we could move in the last week of September,” said Henry Roberts, the hospital’s long-term care director, adding that the health system must get final OKs from various local and state agencies before opening.

The project, a $7.2 million makeover of Lanier Park Hospital’s former inpatient section, “is going along very nicely,” Roberts said.

The new 118-bed center will replace the health system’s 36-year-old New Horizons West facility at 1010 Dawsonville Highway.

It will feature 35 semiprivate and 48 private rooms, each with its own restroom and cable TV. The center also will feature a cafeteria, dining room, beauty salon and activity room. The building will have one less bed but will be 50 percent larger than New Horizons West.

Lanier Park’s front part, including the atrium, will remain open for doctors’ offices and other outpatient services, officials have said.

Lanier Park, which sits off Beverly and White Sulphur roads in Gainesville, originally opened in June 1977. In 2000, the health system bought Lanier Park from Nashville-based HCA-The Healthcare Co.

Northeast Georgia opened its North Patient Tower in April 2009, shutting down Lanier Park’s inpatient facility. Hospital officials looked to Lanier Park as they began considering replacing New Horizons West.

“This building was so perfect for converting,” Roberts said in an earlier interview.

The former inpatient section was a one-story building with readily available parking and in a location familiar to many longtime residents.

Plus, “The way the existing wings are laid out, with nursing stations (in each wing), just made (the project) so convenient,” said project manager Jack Enloe.

Work started in March on the project.

Moving patients — many with serious health needs — across town to a new facility has required careful planning.

“We are developing a contract with a mover for all the physical plant,” such as beds and furniture, Roberts said.

“We’ll be using the medical center’s transport team to move our residents, and all of that has to be coordinated so that the residents and their stuff get (to the new facility) approximately at the same time.”

Operations will remain the same at New Horizons North, hospital officials have said. The center, which is at 2020 Beverly Road, was built in 1985.

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