Parents fall short on promises to help their ailing daughter

All-new Willowbend construction underway

Work on nursing, rehab center progressing as weather allows Work on an all new Willowbend Nursing and Rehabilitation center is underway in Marion. The center has a move planned from its current location on Highway 64 at Hardin Village to the north end of Canal Street in the Bayou Vista subdivision.

The new facility will be bigger and offer 20 more skilled nursing beds bring the new number to 118, along with a designated wing of private rooms to accommodate shortterm rehabilitation. The new building will have 55,000 square feet under roof and employ 110 full-time and parttime employees. An enlarged therapy room will be filled with state of the art equipment.

Administrator Kay Kay Davis explained the need for a new building.

“We’ve been growing,” said Davis. “We’ve out grown this building and we need a more updated modern appealing space.”

Marion Planning and zoning gave the nod to the project in September and the lot was staked out and a bulldozer moved dirt before the bottom fell out with rain this week. Willowbend leadership was delighted to see the work begin on the new five acre site.

“I am excited,” said Director of Nurses Betty Beese.

“Construction has begun.

We got it going and want to let everyone know.”

The fast start felt good to the Willowbend staff, and upped everyone’s excitement. But rain this week put a damper on the initial burst of work which all came to a halt because of the wet ground conditions.

“They sent us pictures and its all full of water, around one piece of equipment,” said Beese.

By John Rech