West nursing home holds ground breaking ceremony - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


West nursing home holds ground breaking ceremony

WEST - Nearly a year after their nursing home was destroyed by the West Fertilizer Plant explosion, staff of the West Rest Haven nursing home held a ground breaking ceremony to begin the rebuilding process.

The old nursing home was about 200 yards away from the West Fertilizer Company plant, and was destroyed by the April 17, 2013 explosion. It was opened in 1967, but staff and officials say this new building will be better than ever.

"The newest two things are memory care and outpatient therapy. Outpatient are people who have hip replacement, knee replacement, recovering from a stroke or something like that. Don't have to be a rest home resident. They are going to be able to do it on an outpatient and come and do it on a daily basis," the West Rest Haven board President, Robert Payne, said.

The new 75,000 square foot, 120 bed nursing facility will be built across North Davis St. from the old nursing home. It will have bigger rooms, and individual showers.

"This is going to be a facility that will be easy to get around. We are just very excited about it," Payne said.

Nursing home officials have look forward to Friday, and say it is an important milestone for the community and it's future.

"It is extremely important not only for our economy but for our self-esteem. For all the different businesses in town that get a boost from the residents being into town," Payne said.

"Most of the residents we had in the nursing home are from this community or close surrounding communities and they feel this is home, and they want to come back to where they belong they say," West Rest Haven administrator Roseann Morris said.

Along with more than a hundred residents,150 employees will be coming back to West too.

"We are looking forward to them coming back. We had such a good workforce. Very important, long tenured employees that are so important to West and so important to West Rest Haven," Payne said.

Nursing home officials say a day like this could never have happened so quickly without the financial and emotional support of the town.

"Our community is a very strong faith-based community which is so important for a small town. Everybody rallies around each other, helps each other get through, picks up when you get down," Payne said.

"The community support is awesome. Resident's families are coming in all the time and they are saying 'when are you going to be back? we are ready to bring them back. It was home to us.' Any time i go visit them they saying 'how are they doing on the nursing home or has it started yet?'" Morris said.

Construction is set to begin in the next two months and completed in the summer of 2015. No plans have been made on the old nursing home site.
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