DeKALB – The DeKalb County Nursing Home and Rehabilitation addition and renovation project should be completed in the fall, according to county and construction officials.
"It's going well," said Megan Simon, project manager for Ringland-Johnson Construction. "We're about 50 to 55% completed."
She said closing the additions has helped, because it means workers can continue to labor inside and gain momentum to complete the project in the third quarter of 2020.
Simon said the project should be complete by September, with the caveat that the completion date does depend on Illinois Department of Public Health's review and acceptance of the project. Simon took over as project manager when Jeff Blanck retired from Ringland-Johnson at the end of 2019.
At a DeKalb County Public Building Commission meeting Tuesday, the commission approved three change orders for the project at 2600 N. Annie Glidden Road. Those include "topping out of existing walls," at a cost of $7,975, fire-proofing, which cost $1,514, and snow removal, which cost $5,399.
During demolition of the walls and ceiling in the support areas behind the nurse station in Building B, it was discovered that fire-rated walls were not complete above the ceiling. A similar condition during demolition of similar areas in Building A was found behind the nurse station, according to a Ringland-Johnson Construction change order.
"Topping out existent walls is to achieve the fire rating above the ceiling where most people can't see to the deck of the building," Simon said. "Fireproofing is a material we put on steel to make sure it doesn't get engulfed right away."
The other change was when it was discovered the walls that were supposed to be rated for fire code weren't.
"In order to get it up to code, we had to drywall and insulate it," Simon said.
She said everything is based on fire code regulations.
Gary Hanson, DeKalb County administrator, said the project's scope has changed in order to fix the situation.
He said the first two items – topping out of existing walls, and fire proofing – have to do with the current facility and not the new addition.
"The two areas of the current facility were not originally done according to code," Hanson said. "We now have to bring that part of the building up to code."
Hanson said they don't want to ignore anything that was done incorrectly in the past.
"We want to make the building as good and safe as possible by today's standards," Hanson said.
As for the last item, snow removal, Simon said there wasn't a roof, so in order for contractors to work, the snow had to be cleared out so everyone could work.
The expansion will include additional rooms, an activity center, an upgraded fire alarm system, a nursing call system, a larger chiller and a new boiler system. A 15,400-square-foot transitional care unit will add 18 rooms to the 83,000-square-foot facility.