County nursing home project gaining steam

The Rolling Hills Committee voted Wednesday to recommend Kraus-Anderson Construction Company as the project manager for the county-run senior facility it is building to replace the current Rolling Hills Nursing Home.
Kraus-Anderson is a Midwest firm whose Wisconsin operations are run out of Madison. It is the firm acting as manager on the La Crosse Center project. It also was involved in building the Tomah Health complex and has done builds for Gundersen and Mayo.
Seven firms submitted project manager proposals to oversee construction of the senior care facility.  Kraus-Anderson, Market & Johnson and Wieser Bros. comprised the top three candidates.
The project manager acts as the county’s representative on the build. It handles the bidding process and vets all contractors, although the county board will have final say on which bids are accepted.
It also acts as quality control on construction, with representatives on the site daily. The project architect, Community Living Solutions (CLS), suggested getting the project manager onboard early to help catch mistakes and reduce the number of change orders.
Unlike in the Justice Center, Krause-Anderson won’t be able to bid on any construction work for the facility. 
A resolution approving the firm will go before the Monroe County Board next Wednesday.
The senior facility also cleared another hurdle Monday when the City of Sparta’s Extraterritorial Committee voted to recommend changing the construction site zoning classification from agriculture to residential. The county-owned site, which is currently a farm field, is located east of the Rolling Hills Nursing Home of Cty. Hwy. B.
The City of Sparta has zoning jurisdiction on the edges of its city limits through extraterritorial zoning to ensure the city’s Smart Growth Plan is being adhered to. Since the property is located in the Town of Sparta, the committee consisted of three city members and three township members, all of whom voted to recommend the zoning change.
Town of Sparta Chairman Kevin Raymer indicated no town residents raised objections. There will be a public hearing on the zoning change at the March city council meeting, after which the council will vote on approving it.
Also in March, the county board will plans to hold a meeting devoted to paring the different building alternatives.
CLS is working on three building design options. The first option is the originally-approved design, a 50-bed skilled nursing home with an attached 24-bed assisted living unit and a 24-bed independent living unit.
The second option takes the 24-bed independent living apartments out of the mix and leaves the 50 skilled nursing beds and increases the assisted living beds to 50.
The final option is a 62-bed skilled nursing unit with 12 assisted living beds, which can be converted to skilled beds if needed.
Last month the board approved a $16 million bond issue, clearing its biggest hurdle. Bids on the project are expected to be submitted in April with construction beginning late spring. The tentative completion date is August 2022.

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