Gates House moves forward

Published 7:36 am Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GATESVILLE – An exercise in patience is needed.

Despite no visible movement in the announced construction of a senior living facility near here, plans are steadily moving forward behind the scenes.

Well over one year has passed since Meridian Senior Living revealed its plans to manage a 70-bed adult care facility that will be constructed in the Merchants Commerce Center located on US 158 across from Gates County High School.

According to the announcement made on April 16, 2012 in Gatesville by company officials, construction on the facility was expected to begin in May of 2013, and completed within a 12-month period.

While the project is definitely behind schedule, Gates County Manager Natalie Rountree said the project is moving forward.

“We are currently trying to finalize all the (construction) permits; the contractor is now in the process of getting to us all the final documentation we need to move forward,” Rountree said last week.

She added one of the hold-ups was that a project of this size required a Level 3 certified building inspector.

“Gates County has a building inspector on staff, but he is not Level 3 certified,” Rountree noted. “In order to move forward on this much anticipated project, the county has contracted with a Level 3 certified building inspector from Perquimans County. Once he has looked over all the final documentation from the contractor and is satisfied with it, he’ll sign off on the necessary permits and once that’s done you’ll see work beginning at the site.”

Rountree added that work will hopefully begin in the next two to three weeks.

According to information released by Meridian Senior Living when they announced the selection of Gates County as their newest development area, the project is to be a public-private partnership. Financing comes through publically traded Real Estate Investment Trust Funds or with private equity banks that specialize in healthcare real estate projects.

Housing and medical care for those occupants can be paid through Medicaid or private pay.

The 28,000 square foot Gates House will feature the latest style of construction used by Meridian. Double occupancy bedrooms will be offered. The facility also features a full kitchen as well as a dining room, activity room and living room, complete with Internet access. Advanced security measures are a key element of operation.

The facility is projected to employ at least 50 individuals.

Meridian is no stranger to the local area. Of the 38 properties owned or managed (or both) by Meridian in North Carolina, eight are in the northeastern part of the state – Ahoskie House, Edenton House, Currituck House, Windsor House, Williamston House, Rich Square Manor, Rich Square Villa and Hampton House in Gaston.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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