Firm Breaks Ground on $10.9M Long-Term Care Facility in Walnut Ridge

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Southern Administrative Services broke ground Tuesday on a $10.9 million nursing home development in Walnut Ridge, the Green House Cottages of Walnut Ridge.

The company provides administrative and support services to a network of 30 long-term care facilities in Arkansas. The Walnut Ridge project will be the sixth of its kind to open, and it represents the largest private investment for the community, according to a news release.

The development includes new construction and a renovation of the existing Walnut Ridge Nursing & Rehab facility, which will have only private rooms. The Green House Cottages of Walnut Ridge is expected to open in mid-2021.

Four new cottage-style buildings with 12 private suites apiece will be built. The buildings will be a combined 32,000 SF and offer a total of 64 beds. Each cottage will have a spa/beauty shop, library, living room with fireplace and kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

The facility won’t have the signage, posted notifications, beeping call lights or flashing lights that are indicative of an institutional setting. And the landscaping as well as the front and back porches will mimic a single family home-like setting.

Company officials John Ponthie and Shannon Fleming, Mayor Charlie Snapp and state Rep. Fran Cavenaugh, R-Walnut Ridge, attended the groundbreaking.

“The Green House Cottage isn’t just a new building; it’s an entirely different model for delivery of long-term care,” John Ponthie, managing member of Southern Administrative Services, said in the release. “Elders live in small homes — no more than 12 in any one home. They are cared for by a dedicated staff who often work only in that one home. They have a state-of-the-art kitchen and choices about their food; they have front and back porches and nature around. They keep their own schedules. They have agency and choice and dignity.”

He continued, “This is a significant shift in how long-term care is delivered, and we’re excited that Walnut Ridge and northeast Arkansas are the next communities to experience this new model of care for its loved ones.”

Cavenaugh added, “This is a bright new day for elder care in northeast Arkansas. Once you learn about the Green House Cottages, you know this is the type of care you would want for your mother, your father, your grandparents, yourself.”

Southern Administrative Services has brought four Green House developments to Arkansas so far, to Magnolia, Rison, Paragould and Little Rock. Another is underway in Mena; it will be called the Green House Cottages of Homewood.