POLAND, Ohio — Renovations to the common spaces and apartments at Wickshire Poland Senior Living here should be underway very soon.

Currently, the Tennessee-based company is in the process of securing materials and contractors for the work, says Casey Byrnes, vice president of sales and marketing. Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, Byrnes expects work on the $700,000 renovation will take about three months.

“We’re hopeful to begin work in the next few weeks,” she says.

Some initial work has been done since Wickshire acquired the former Sunrise of Poland senior living center on Oct. 21, says Kerry Collins, executive director for Wickshire Poland. While the pandemic has prevented a formal open house, Collins and staff celebrated the new ownership with a ribbon cutting Dec. 9.

Wickshire Poland Senior Living is located at 335 W. McKinley Way, Poland.

“We are so incredibly excited to be part of the Wickshire family,” Collins says. “We’ve made a lot of progress, even in the last two months during the acquisition and transition.”

Wickshire purchased the center at 335 W. McKinley Way for $2.72 million. The Poland location employs 72 and cares for 63 residents, Collins says. The community is licensed for 85 residents and has 67 suites, of which 19 are designed for memory care.

The memory care program at Wickshire Poland is already strong, Collins says, and the company is always looking to enhance it.

“There is such a need in this area for memory care. There always is,” she says. “Many of the folks even in our assisted living neighborhood definitely have memory care needs as well.”

Memory care plays a big role for Wickshire and its 16 locations across the U.S., Byrnes says. Other Ohio locations are in Cincinnati and the Dayton suburb of Fairborn, as well as Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

“It’s very important. Caring or those with dementia is one of the things that we’re most passionate about as a company,” Byrnes says. “So we’re thankful we have the opportunity to do that in Poland.”

Wickshire looks to continue its expansion in 2021, she notes. “Our goal is to have about 80 communities in the next few years.”

For now, COVID-19 is top of mind as the center prepares to receive and distribute vaccinations to those who want them. Wickshire has partnered with CVS to help distribute the vaccines later this month.

“That’s the plan, assuming everything gets approved and rolled out,” Byrnes says. “It’s not required, but any associate or resident who wants it will have the opportunity.”

The Poland location has been working since March to meet the standards set by Wickshire and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Collins says. Staff have ramped up cleaning and have been wearing N95 respirator masks and face shields, she says. As far as personal protective equipment, the center is in “good shape,” she says.

“Right now we’re doing just fine,” she says. “It’s become more available. And even at the county, they work with us if there’s any shortage, they try to identify those shortages and work with us to get what we need.”

Pictured at top: On hand for the ribbon-cutting were Wickshire Poland Senior Living staff, including Marilynn King, dining; Susan Shipley, sales associate; Deana Hayes, health and wellness director; Cathy George, business office manager; Kerry Collins-Smith, executive director; Marvin Croon, maintenance associate; Jackie Jones, director of sales; Royshanette Davis, health care partner; Joyce Palumbaro, concierge; Barbara Chatman, residence assistance; Monica Robinson, residence assistant and Ayana Rudolph, assisted living manager.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

NewsWickshire Senior Living Begins $700K Renovation