Westward Heights breaks ground on 20,000 sq/ft addition in Lander

The main entrance to the Westward Heights Care Center in Lander. Under new guidelines, outdoor visits are now allowed at long-term care facilities across the state, such as Westward Heights. Wyotoday.com Photo by Ernie Over

Ground was broken in Lander Tuesday for a 20,000 square foot expansion of the Westward Heights Care Center.

Plans to expand the center have been underway for the past three years, according to the Center.  The original building was opened in 1978 and there have been some small expansions and extensive renovations throughout the years.  The Center’s Board of Directors said they want to meet the current community need but also plan for the future. 

Another reason for the expansion is that needs for such a facility have increased over the years. One major change, according to the center, is that rehabilitation after surgery or acute medical conditions are more often being done in skilled rehabilitation settings. It was noted that half of the admissions to Westward Heights go home after their rehabilitation and care.  Additionally, the increased demand for private rooms and the waiting list for private rooms urged the center to consider additional living space.

The expansion with provide additional private living spaces, private bathrooms, a therapy gym, a new bathing area, additional dining space/multi-purpose room for life enrichment, a chapel for spiritual activities, and a central courtyard. 

Built nearly 40 years ago, the space provided at Westward Heights for 60 residents is minimal compared to what today’s marketplace demands.  In addition to the expansion, the project will include reducing the number of existing semi-private rooms, replacing these with new toe-to-toe semi-privates with one shared bathroom per two residents.   

The expansion will add an additional 20,000 square feet of space:

  • 30 resident rooms
  • Therapy Gym
  • Chapel
  • Dining Room
  • Nurse’s Station
  • Private Dining Room
  • Multipurpose room
  • Central Courtyard.  for walking, gardening, relaxing

Photos by the Wind River Radio Network’s Vicki Long