State Hospital South construction begins Wednesday

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Construction will begin Wednesday on the new Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility at State Hospital South in Blackfoot.

When completed in 2020, the facility will be licensed and accredited for 36 to 42 beds to meet the needs of Idaho's aging population.  The current facility can handle 29 residents and the new facility could be increased to 59 beds in the future.

Bonds were issued by the State Building Authority last fall to meet the $35 million construction cost, which includes demolition of the existing nursing home. 

"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 full hospital is licensed to serve 90 adults, 16 adolescent patients, and 29 residents in the Syringa Chalet.   

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has set a groundbreaking ceremony for 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 8. Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen, Administrator Jim Price and State Senator 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 will also be on hand.

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