County Breaks Ground on Long-Term Care Facility

September 17 , 2008 -- The first shovels went into the ground this morning for Middlesex County’s new long-term care facility during a ceremony at the facility’s eventual site in Old Bridge Township.

Members of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders were joined by Old Bridge Mayor James T. Phillips, members of the Township Council and other dignitaries to start work on the state-of-the-art, 180-bed long-term care facility that is expected to open in 2010.

“I look forward to the day when we cut the ribbon on another first-class facility and welcome residents to their new home,” said Freeholder Director David B. Crabiel. “In creating state-of-the-art facilities, offering quality long-term care and anticipating the changing needs of our residents, we are raising the quality of life for all the residents of Middlesex County, ‘The Greatest County in the Land!’ ”

Crabiel said County officials were bolstered by the positive response and operational success of the long-term care facility they opened in 2005 at Roosevelt Care Center in Edison. The Old Bridge building will be very similar to the one in Edison, but will feature a larger coffee shop and a third elevator to better serve residents and their families, Crabiel said.

“Like the building we opened in 2005, this new building will be designed to optimize resources and create a home-like feel,” he said.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year, with a completion date 18 months after that.

The Freeholders voted earlier this month to enter into an agreement with the New Brunswick Development Corp. (DEVCO) to construct the facility. DEVCO is a non-profit development company responsible for much of the successful redevelopment of downtown New Brunswick, Crabiel said.

He said the County has already successfully partnered with DEVCO in the construction of its County Administration building, Prosecutor’s Offices and the new Family Court Building.

The agreement with DEVCO will provide the County with the benefit of a guaranteed maximum price for the construction costs. It ensures that any cost overruns will not be the responsibility of Middlesex County. Utilizing the redevelopment approach also eliminates the need for the County having to come up with a down payment that would normally be required in the County’s operating budget for 2009. Furthermore, the construction loan repayment process won’t begin until the project is actually completed, which is scheduled for late 2010, or early 2011.

“Good government is able to find ways to better care for its people and at the same time find ways to provide that care in a more efficient, more effective manner,” Mayor Phillips said. “The modern facility that will soon welcome residents here will advance healthcare in the County and will stand as an example of good business as well.”