John T. O’Neill, president of O’Neill Healthcare, said he hopes his company’s newest nursing home will be the place people on the road to recovery come for rehabilitation.
Known as O’Neill Healthcare Fairview Park, the 65,000-square-foot building offers 56 private rooms and 31 semiprivate rooms for individuals seeking physical therapy and rehabilitation, as well as long-term skilled nursing care.
Dozens of community and municipal leaders gathered at the Lorain Road facility Thursday afternoon for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
O’Neill, who grew up in Fairview Park, said he’s glad one of his family’s five facilities is located in the community.
“The city of Fairview Park has been great to work with,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill thanked the residents who live nearby the new building.
“We are going to be a good neighbor,” he said. “At times maybe it didn’t seem that way when we cut cable lines and got the street dirty, but that’s behind us.”
O’Neill said he hopes the Fairview Park nursing home will be an employer of choice among area health care workers.
Company officials say a key aspect of the new facility is its 5,000-square-foot Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, which offers therapy for those recovering from a stroke or hip replacement. The rehab center goes beyond providing basic physical therapy for patients by recreating real-world scenarios, such as a visit to a grocery store or a restaurant. The center, which includes a Ford Taurus patients can practice getting in and out of, is designed to allow individuals to practice activities they’ll face once they return home.
O’Neill Healthcare Fairview Park is located on the former site of Garnett Primary School and the administrative offices of the Fairview Park City Schools. Those buildings were demolished in 2007 as part of the Gemini Project, the voter-approved plan that resulted in the construction of the city’s recreation center and the new Gilles-Sweet Elementary School.
One of the project’s goals was to turn the Garnett property over to the private sector so it would generate tax revenue.
In 2010, the city reached an agreement to acquire the property at Lorain and West 208th Street from the Fairview Park City Schools. In exchange for the property, the city waived the schools’ annual $60,000 fee to use the city-owned Gemini recreation center over the next 12 years. The following year, the city sold the 4.77-acre property to O’Neill Healthcare for $720,000.
Mayor Eileen Patton, who led a large contingent of City Hall employees at Thursday’s event, alluded to the property’s history in her brief remarks.
“This land is very sacred,” the mayor said before the ceremonial ribbon cutting. “It educated thousands and thousands of children over the years. And now it will be a home to take care of people and make them better and bring a lot of love to their lives.”
The Rev. Michael Lanning, past or St. Angela Merici Catholic Church, offered the benediction during Thursday’s ceremony.
O’Neill Healthcare Fairview Park also hosted a public open house Sunday afternoon. Company officials say they expect the facility’s first patients will be admitted next month.