See the Preliminary Plan for North Central Health Care’s Major Renovations to Their Wausau Campus

Written by Jessica Meadows


Since 1972, North Central Health Care (NCHC) has existed as a partnership between the 3 counties of Marathon, Lincoln, and Langlade. The facility provides services for mental health, behavioral health, and developmental disability needs.

The current Health Care Center building at 1100 Lake View Drive in Wausau serves as the main campus for the organization. Additionally, there are centers in Antigo and Merrill, an office in Tomahawk, prevocational services in the Wausau Industrial Park, and 8 residential care sites in the greater Wausau area.

MarathonCountyHealthCareCenter
The current Health Care Center was built in 1972 in Marathon County. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Meadows.)

The NCHC Campus is fast approaching 50 years of age, with the last major construction or renovation project occurring over 30 years ago.

  • The current Aquatic Therapy Pool was built in 1976 to provide services for those with developmental disabilities. Today the pool provides warm water physical therapy for a variety of ailments, as can be seen in the video below.

  • The Mount View Care Center renovation was commissioned in 1983, originally as a 400-bed nursing home. Today, the nursing home has 200 beds and maintains a census of approximately 185 residents in long-term, post-acute, ventilator-dependent, and dementia care.

Renovation Goals

In April 2017, work on a Master Facility Plan for the NCHC Wausau Campus began. This plan was presented to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors in April 2018, and initial bonding approval for renovations was approved in June 2018.

In September 2018, architectural design and engineering firms were hired to work with both NCHC and Marathon County teams, and a Preliminary Plan for the NCHC Wausau Campus was completed at the end of February 2019. It was presented to the community, the NCHC Board of Directors, NCHC employees, the Plan Commission of the City of Wausau, and the Marathon County Board of Supervisors beginning March 18, 2019.

At the onset of the planning process, it was necessary for both North Central Health Care and Marathon County to establish goals that would guide the renovation planning. These goals were presented to the public and the Marathon County Board of Supervisors from the start of the project and are shared between NCHC and Marathon County. These goals have driven the decision-making process for the renovations from the very beginning.

North Central Health Care Goals

  • Efficient Clinical Operations
  • Improved Wayfinding / Security / Access
  • An Evidence-Based Design
  • Higher Acuity
  • Increased Flexibility / Deinstitutionalization
  • Quality Workspaces
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Increased Operational Efficiency
  • Efficient Consolidation of Related Services and Programs
  • Leadership in Educational Programming

Marathon County Goals

  • Quality of Care
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Comprehensive Facility Planning (Renovate the campus within the context of other County-owned property)

How Will Renovations Be Paid For?

Models predict that increased revenues and decreased costs realized in the new facility renovations would pay for the cost of the project. So, while Marathon County would secure the 20-year bonds for project, the bond payments would be made in full by NCHC, not levied as a tax to Marathon County residents.

Want to learn more?

View or download the full explanation available in the Frequently Asked Questions document (see page 65) presented to the Marathon County Board of Supervisors.

Now, for the fun part — Let’s take a look at the Preliminary Plan for the NCHC Wausau Campus . . .

NCHC_Renovation_Front_Door
This drawing shows the entrance to the 4-story Nursing Home, as well as the Bistro, which will be open to the public. Careful planning shows the integration of existing buildings and styling into the new design style of the NCHC Campus. Existing brick and concrete styling is combined with new wood and modern features to allow the entire campus to merge together as one facility.
NCHC-Prelim_Plan_Bistro
An alternate view of the Main Entrance and outdoor seating at the Bistro. Entrances marked with natural wood materials are entrances accessible to the public. Taking a closer look, the roof of the Bistro serves as an outdoor green space and garden for residents of the Nursing Home. Resident living areas will all be located on the second, third, and fourth floors of the new skilled nursing building, with community space, shared services, and administrative support on the first floor.
PreliminaryPlanOverhead
Preliminary Plan (revised March 21, 2019). The drawing above shows the overhead Preliminary Campus Plan. The main entrance to the Wausau Campus will be from Marshall Street, where visitors will access Outpatient and Community Services, Aquatic Services, and Skilled Nursing Services. The entrance to the rear of the building will be focused on Crisis Services, Inpatient Hospital, and Lakeside Recovery.
PreliminaryPlanOverhead-Revised
Preliminary Plan (revised April 4, 2019). The drawing above shows the Preliminary Campus Plan from overhead in detail. Based on feedback received at community input sessions and public meetings at the City of Wausau and Marathon County, this drawing was revised on April 4, 2019, to show further detail on the landscaping berm and additional pathway and landscaping renderings located on the north side of the Campus near the Youth Hospital and Adult Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF). The distance from Marshall Street to the closest point of the Adult CBRF Building is 216 feet.
NCHC_Pool_Entrance
Entrance to the new Aquatic Therapy Pool. The new Aquatic Therapy Pool will have designated parking for pool users and a covered entrance. Large windows will allow for natural light to enhance the healing environment.
NCHC-Prelim_Plan_Marshall_St
The drawing above reflects the view of the Campus from the intersection of Marshall and Ethel Streets. Based on feedback from the community, this conceptual drawing was revised to show to location of the Youth Hospital and Adult CBRF that were made on April 4, 2019, moving the Adult CBRF 216 feet from Marshall Street.
NCHC_Preliminary_Design_Green_Space
Moving a little further to the north on Marshall Street, this conceptual drawing shows the view from the street, which includes a connecting walking path from Marshal Street to existing walking paths, a gazebo for public use, and landscaping berms for additional privacy.

What’s Next?

After the neighborhood, community, and local government input sessions in late March and early April, NCHC and Marathon County will present the amended General Plan and Precise Plan to the Plan Commission of the City of Wausau for approval on May 21 and 28, 2019. Bidding and Phasing Plans will commence in June of 2019, with groundbreaking ceremonies to follow.

Construction is expected to be complete around NCHC’s 50th Anniversary in March of 2022. The public will be invited to attend ground-breaking ceremonies and grand-opening celebrations.

Want More Information?

North Central Health Care has a section of their website dedicated to the renovations. You can review the most up-to-date information, events, and contact information at www.norcen.org/Renovations.

NCHC-Website_Screen_Capture

The website will remain open throughout the course of construction and be updated continually with news, events, and information.

Do you have questions, feedback, or suggestions?

Please email us at renovations@norcen.org.

Dedicated to the health and well-being of residents in Central Wisconsin, NCHC and Marathon County are proud to partner together to develop the future of mental health, behavioral health, and skilled nursing care in Central Wisconsin.


Jessica_MeadowsJessica Meadows

Communications & Marketing Coordinator  |  North Central Health Care

As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.  Email Jessica Meadows.


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