By Alex Paul
LEBANON — The new veterans’ home being built in Lebanon will be a big change for the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, with a homey rather than institutional design.
Project manager John Osborn said that although the small home concept being used at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home is new for the department, operators of other types of skilled nursing facilities are familiar with it.
Instead of living in dormitory-style buildings, the 150 Lebanon residents will live in homelike buildings and share living room and kitchen facilities.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says this is a radical departure from traditional skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The model alters facility size, interior design, staffing patterns and methods of delivering services.
A mandatory pre-proposal conference for firms that want to operate the Lebanon facility will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 25 at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, 700 Summer St. N.E. in Salem.
Final proposals will be due no later than 2 p.m. Nov. 1. The official request for proposals can be found online at http://orpin.ore
The goal is to contract with a single operator who will provide high-quality nursing care.
The mandatory conference will provide potential operators an opportunity to ask questions, but it also gives the department the opportunity to get ideas from operators already working within the small house parameters.
Osborn said construction is well on its way. Infrastructure work began last fall, and buildings are in the frame-up stage.
“We have had good weather, and our contractor has kept things moving forward very well,” Osborn said.
He said the target completion date is July 2014, but it could take from one to two years before the complex is fully occupied.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the selection of Lebanon for the new home in April 2010.
The new facility, located on 11 acres at the northwest corner of the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus, will be the second veterans home in the state. A 151-bed home is in The Dalles.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates Oregon needs 800 beds in skilled nursing facilities for its aging veterans.
For more information about the process, contact Josh Bremner, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs procurement and contracts specialist, at 503-373-2023.