Center to add 26,000 square feet to building along Division Street in Gresham.

COURTESY FFA ARCHITECTURE - This rendering shows the proposed design for a 26,000-square-foot expansion of the Fairlawn Village facility on Division Street in Gresham.A skilled-care home for seniors plans to nearly double the size of its facility in Gresham.

Fairlawn Village, operated by the nonprofit Good Samaritan Society, has submitted blueprints for a 26,000-square-foot expansion to its existing 30,000-square-foot campus at 3457 N.E. Division Street near the intersection of Kane Drive.

The project calls for 30 new private rooms, which will allow the care provider to convert 30 preexisting shared lodging spaces into private rooms as well. The total number of beds on site will not increase.

"There's really no new revenue that's being generated here. It's really about the quality of life that's being provided to the patients themselves," architect Joe Zody told the Gresham Design Commission during a meeting on Wednesday, March 21, at City Hall.

Renderings show the new one-story structure will offer units with private bathrooms, though kitchens will be shared and the organization says access will be restricted. There also will be a dietary office, beauty shop, medical records room, therapy room, dining room and several group lounges. The new construction will be connected to the existing facility by a hallway.

COURTESY FFA ARCHITECTURE - Another rendering illustrates the south elevation of a proposed campus extension of a Good Samaritan Society skilled-care facility in Gresham. Zody came before the Design Commission to ask for several exemptions to Gresham's building code, noting that the project has an "extremely tight budget" and some of the rules are more suited for bustling apartment complexes, not care centers.

"A lot of people believe that flooding spaces with natural light is a good thing. Those who are struggling with vision issues or macular degeneration — that's not always the best thing for them," he said.

The commission appeared receptive to some of the proposed changes, though Zody's request to not build sidewalks on Division Street earned some scoffs from the appointed building board.

"You don't have very many pedestrians going through now. That might be because there's not an existing pedestrian connection," pondered Commissioner Robert Hayden. "If you don't agree with staff's recommendation, you're going to need to show us something a little more concrete."

"We don't feel that we've overreached," added city planner GianPaolo Mammone.

Fairlawn Village administrator Dena Muraski says the expansion will require 10 to 12 new full-time equivalent positions.

The payroll at the facility, which opened in 1975, now tops $3.8 million. The company says more than 75 percent of its community members are supported by Medicaid or Medicare, while just eight percent are private payers.

The project, which has not been granted final approval, is scheduled to return to the Design Commission later this month.

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