By Richard Asinof
EAST PROVIDENCE – As workmen busily labored on the construction of Tockwotton Home’s new $52.3 million, five-story facility along the edge of Narragansett Bay, Kevin McKay, Tockwotton’s executive director, led a tour of the facility on Aug. 13 for U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline and news media.
The new facility is “on schedule and on budget,” slated to open on Dec. 15, according to McKay, when some 66 current residents at the existing Tockwotton facility on the East Side of Providence will be transferred. The new home features 156 apartments that have been designed “to be someone’s home and not a hospital, with the resident at the center of care,” McKay said.
About two-thirds – 104 – will be assisted living apartments, 31 apartments will offer memory care for those with dementia issues, and 17 apartments will be for short-term rehabilitation patients recovering from surgery such as knee and hip replacements, according to McKay.
The new facility is fully booked with potential residents, according to McKay, who said there are 105 people who have reserved apartments in the new facility with a deposit. He said that he expected that there would be some dropoff in the reservations, as people’s situations change.
A studio apartment will cost $4,200 a month, a one-bedroom will cost $5,300 a month, a memory care apartment will cost $6,600 a month, and skilled nursing apartments will run $375 a day, prices that McKay said were very competitive with the current market.
In addition to a building designed with large public spaces, including numerous kitchens, cafes, living rooms, a theater and a media room. Each room will have state-of-the-art electronic monitoring systems to ensure the safety of residents.
The schedule at the new facility will seek to maximize choices for residents, offering meals and activities with flexible hours.
There are currently about 200 construction workers on site, both union and non-union, according to McKay. When completed, he continued, Tockwotton will be adding a total of between 40 to 45 new full-time positions. Interviews for the new positions have begun.
Cicilline and tour participants, wearing white hard hats, inspected the architectural details of the building, which maximizes use of the views of the waterfront, for about an hour.
The project is being built on a six-acre site; two adjoining parcels, one 2.4 acres, the second 1.8 acres, will be sold for development. An additional parcel of 1.3 acres of waterfront will be given to the city of East Providence to extend its parkland along the bay.
Tockwotton, which has served seniors since its founding in 1856, was named one of the 39 top nursing facilities in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2012, based on performance reviews.