By Jesse Wood
June 24, 2014. State officials, Watauga County and Blowing Rock leaders and representatives of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System participated in the groundbreaking of Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock on Tuesday afternoon.
Chestnut Ridge will offer post-acute care, which includes short- and long-term rehabilitative services, skilled nursing care, memory care support, and palliative care. Chestnut Ridge will feature a two-story structure that includes private and semi-private bedrooms, kitchens, dining areas, living areas and more – all amidst a neighborhood concept, according to Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock website.
Those speaking at the ceremony included ARHS Senior Vice President Rob Hudspeth; ARHS CEO Richard Sparks; N.C. Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata; Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence; Chair of the Chestnut Ridge Capital Campaign Committee Jerry Hutchens; and Blowing Rock resident Harriet Davant.
Tata mentioned the Gov. Pat McCrory signed him on in 2013 to leverage infrastructure to create and maintain jobs – something Tata said is exactly what this Chestnut Ridge project will do.
In a past presentation to governmental officials, ARHS representatives noted that Chestnut Ridge would save 110 full-time jobs that will relocate from the existing Blowing Rock Hospital, create 59 new jobs with a grant from the N.C. Rural Center and 20 to 40 new positions in retail pharmacy and a primary care clinic. It was also noted that 200-plus jobs were possible with the future growth of the continuing care retirement community, specialty medical practices and ancillary services providers.
ARHS thanked the following organizations for their support and roles in the ongoing development of this project:
- N.C. Department of Transportation
- Economic Development Administration
- N.C. Department of Commerce
- N.C. Rural Center for Economic Development
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- Appalachian State University
- Blowing Rock Chamber
- Town of Blowing Rock
- Criterion Healthcare
- Hickory Construction Company
- High Country Council of Governments
- Martin-McGill, Inc.
- McGill Associates
- RPA Design, PC
- The Louis Berger Group
Check back for more words on the ceremony. For now, see photos of the groundbreaking ceremony below.