The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is extremely pleased to announce that construction will begin Wednesday, May 8, on the new Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility at State Hospital South, 700 East Alice, Blackfoot.
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen and State Hospital South Administrator Jim Price will be in attendance, along with Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll, and Idaho Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds. Light refreshments will be served afterward.
“The nursing home serves as a safety net for the residents, many of whom can’t be treated in other nursing homes around the state and cannot return to their communities,” said Jim Price, administrator for State Hospital South, which operates the skilled nursing facility. “The new facility will be safer and have more capacity as it also preserves a feeling of home for our residents, who are mentally ill and gravely disabled and require skilled nursing care.”
The new facility will be licensed and accredited for 36 to 42 beds when it opens and eventually will be licensed and have the capacity to increase to 59 beds to meet the needs of Idaho’s aging population. The current facility can handle 29 residents, which is the current census. The residents will be moved into the new facility when it is completed in July 2020.
The current building was constructed in 1938 and later retro-fitted to become a 29-bed skilled nursing home. The building was originally used as a medical clinic and surgical hospital.
Construction is expected to cost $35 million and includes architecture and engineering, construction, permits, equipment, furniture, capitalized interest for the bond, and demolition of the existing nursing home. The Idaho Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 140 in 2018 that authorized the Department of Health and Welfare to enter into an agreement with the Idaho State Building Authority to obtain bond financing for the new nursing home. The bonds were issued in the fall of 2018.
State Hospital South is one of two state psychiatric hospitals administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. It is licensed to serve 90 adult patients, 16 adolescent patients, and 29 residents in the Syringa Chalet. It is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Niki Forbing-Orr, Public Information Manager