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Nursing home merger may mean new city offices

New Carlisle has rented space for its offices for years.

Two Clark County nursing homes will merge, leading to a roughly $5 million expansion at one of the facilities and, eventually, new office space for New Carlisle officials.

The agreement is not expected to be completed until the end of this month, and several details still need to be finalized, said Mark White, president of Vancrest Health Care, based in Van Wert. However, he said the Dayview Care Center 1885 N. Dayton-Lakeview Road, is expected to merge with the Belle Manor Nursing Home, 107 N. Pike St. Vancrest purchased the Dayview Care Center about a year ago.

The Dayview Care Center will undergo a roughly $5 million expansion that will add as much as 35,000 square feet, and will eventually be renamed Vancrest of New Carlisle, White said.

Once the merger and renovations are complete, Vancrest has offered to donate the Belle Manor facility to the city, said Kim Jones, city manager for New Carlisle. The city rents a former physician’s office at 331 S. Church St. for about $1,800 a month. The city has been looking for at least seven years for a permanent location, and the available space would potentially solve several other issues as well.

“This is an answer to our prayers,” Jones said. “It’s totally hard to believe how generous Mr. Gerber has been as well as Vancrest. We’re still dropping our jaw when we think about it.”

Sanford Gerber, owner of Belle Manor, confirmed discussions of a merger are underway. However, he declined to discuss details about the proposal until the deal is completed at the end of the month. Overall, he said Belle Manor has space for 53 beds and has between 80 and 100 employees.

The merger should make operations more efficient and create a single facility with approximately 90 beds and space for 35 assisted living units, White said. The expanded facility will likely have larger, more private rooms, as well as larger dining and activities areas for residents.

It will also assist the city by offering them office space at no cost. The donation will benefit Vancrest for tax purposes, but the company will not receive any other benefits.

“The idea of gifting it over to the city, we thought it created a win-win situation for everyone,” White said.

Vancrest plans to retain the majority of Belle Manor’s employees, and White said the company will try to find positions for any who are not retained. The company will need to retain most employees to ensure the best care for residents. It’s still hard to determine exactly how the final plan will look because the merger is still at an early stage, he said.

Before the deal can move forward, Vancrest still must receive approval from the Ohio Department of Health, a process that could take as much as six months.

“When we have their blessing, then we’re full speed ahead with the project,” White said.

The renovations at Dayview will take months to complete, Jones said, so it could still be as much as two years before the city moves into the space. However, the new space could allow the city to move its sheriff’s office into the same space as the rest of the city offices. That would also give the city’s fire department room to expand if necessary.

“It’s going to be more space than we could ever anticipate using,” Jones said.

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