TORRINGTON – Despite some confusion concerning the bankruptcy of Welcov Healthcare, the planning of the Evergreen Plaza an assisted living facility for seniors, has been rolling right along. The project, which will be located on the site of the old Goshen County Hospital on East C Street, could be going out to bid as early as May.
According to Goshen County Commission Chairman Wally Wolski, who delivered an update on behalf of the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board last Tuesday during the commission’s regular meeting, the facility is projected to fill up quickly – despite the fact construction hasn’t even begun.
“The amazing part right now, even though we haven’t broken ground or gotten anything signed yet, there’s a waiting list to get in there,” he said. “A lot of people want to get on that list. I’m sure it’s going to be full.”
Like the rest of the Goshen Healthcare Community, the Plaza will be staffed by Vetras Healthcare, which is a more locally-focused group that came together after Welcov’s collapse earlier this year. Wolski said the transition should be mostly painless for the staff, and totally seamless for the residents.
“What makes this different is that Welcov had a number of facilities in different states, and Vetras, right now, the only facilities they have are in Goshen County,” he said. “We are negotiating with them. They originally had everything on a five-year lease and that lease is going to be up Aug. 1.
“We’re in negotiations with them on extending that. It’s not with Welcov, it’s with Vetras. However, everything will remain the same up there. There’s going to be some different people coming in to manage it, but all the people working up there, it’s basically seamless going forward.”
Wolski said the $7 million facility will have 30 rooms at different price points to better serve residents. It will be built next to Evergreen Court, and the buildings will be connected.
“There will be 30 units,” he said. “There will be six studio units, and there will be four rooms - one in each pod - that will be the deluxe ones. There will be 20 standard ones.
“It will be like a community in there. There will be four pods. There will be some remodeling done and some revamping done of the Evergreen itself. There will be 30 rooms in there, and a new dining area and a living area.”
Some of the project costs will be covered by a $3 million grant from the Wyoming Business Council, which was approved by the State Land and Investments Board on Oct. 4, 2018. Much of the rest will be paid for by a $3 million loan organized by a group of local banks. Wolski said the JPB recently met with representatives from Platte Valley Bank, Pinnacle Bank, Points West Bank and First State Bank to update them on the project’s progress.
“There’s another bit if the financial package that has to be put together,” Wolski said. “Through a syndicate, all four of these financial institutions are going to put in money on a loan.
“They’re lockstep. Yesterday, they pledged their continued support.”
Wolski said the JPB has worked to make sure Evergreen Plaza will be a top-notch facility, and the board recently asked for the first installment of its grants money from the WBC to get the ball rolling.
“I find myself saying, ‘If I’m going to be living in this room, how would I like to have it?’” he said. “Everything is starting from scratch. It’s going to be very nice and the community will be proud of it.”