Skilled Nursing Facility Design Goes to Planning Board

Bronz Peterson, senior vice president of Fundamental Administrative Services, Inc., and Steve Keach of Keach Nordstrom Associates presented the Planning Board on April 9 with a conceptual design of a skilled care nursing facility proposed for 3 Grenier Field Road. The facility would house 109 beds for short-term rehabilitation care, with a long-term component included if there were a need.

Preston Hunter of Eckman Construction said they have been doing “due diligence” for the past year by evaluating different sites and have chosen 3 Grenier Field Road because it is relatively flat.

“We’ve done some phase one environmental work on this property,” Hunter said.

“Fundamental is a company based out of Maryland, and we help with the operation of skilled nursing facilities all over the country, Peterson said. “We have around 70 facilities from Texas, Nevada, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and we like the New Hampshire market. We at one time had a facility in New Hampshire and we’re very pleased with the environment from a business aspect, and also from the patients that we were able to care for in this area.”

He noted that New Hampshire has a Certificate of Need process for skilled nursing facilities. “You just can’t build one wherever or whenever you want, and we are going through the final process of getting our Certificate of Need approved,” Peterson said.

He noted they have a purchase option on the land and expect the Certificate of Need to be ready in 30 to 60 days.

Peterson said the design gives every patient a bathroom with shower.

“It will have a hospitality type feel when you walk into it,” Peterson said.

Keach said that the facility will be on 16.14 acres with “an expansive footprint in a north/south configuration and will be one story. It would have two entrances, a service entrance on Grenier Field Road and a 400-foot-long main entrance on Mammoth Road.

“The building is approximately 483 feet long and about 186 feet wide,” Keach said. The design calls for 46 private rooms and 53 beds in semi-private rooms and 12 shared private rooms. Two courtyards for patient use are planned.

“There are wetlands on the property,” Keach noted. “The western part of the property is mapped as wetland, basically a high water table. There’s no standing water.”

Keach said residential properties are to the north and to the south, with limited encroachments to the wetland buffer.

“There just aren’t a lot of sites out there,” Keach said. “The CO (Conservation Overlay) district extends from the edge of the wetland out 50 feet and that is the out of bounds of the district. In this particular instance, we are going to need some limited encroachments to make this work.”

The layout of the building means the level of encroachment is not more than half of the 50-foot buffer.

He said that before they go back to the board for a conditional use permit, they will have a wetland scientist complete a “functionality assessment” and will have mitigation plans for the encroachments.

And he noted that water from the roof would be dealt with either by underground detention or infiltration through porous pavement.

Assistant Public Works Director John Trottier said he was reluctant to get into underground detention because it was “out of sight out of mind” and by the time a problem is identified, it is larger than it would be with above ground detention ponds.

Comprehensive Planner John Vogl said that from a planning perspective, this is the highest value project that they’ve seen on the site. He said that with the potential tax revenue and number of jobs, it would be a nice attribute to the town.

“The planning department is a little more open to the (underground) drainage issue,” Vogl said.

Board member Chris Davies said he was not averse to a suggestion by Vogl about “encroachments into the CO boundary in order to do some detention for the runoff from the roof.”

Board member Rick Brideau asked if the company was a for-profit organization and Peterson said it was. He said it would be about an $8 million facility when complete. He said it would take about 12 months to complete once construction began.

Board member Lynn Wiles asked about traffic impact on Mammoth Road.

Keach said that aesthetically Mammoth Road had a more residential feel, and trucks and deliveries would be coming in through the Grenier Field Road entrance, while cars for visitors would use the Mammoth Road entrance.

Peterson added that it would not be a retail facility with constant traffic flow.

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