Columbine plans $9M facility in Windsor

Columbine Health Systems is planning to break ground on a $9-million, 62,951-square-foot facility in Windsor within 90 days.

The building will go up on slightly more than three acres near the intersection of Highway 392 and 15th Street in Windsor. Columbine founder Bob Wilson purchased the land for $775,000 in 2000.

Wilson said he wanted to begin the project in 2008, but felt that the political climate following that year’s election was not going to be good for business. Today, Wilson believes that President Barack Obama will win re-election, but he doesn’t want to keep waiting to expand his business.

“This project has always had merit,” Wilson said. “And I can’t wait four more years. We just have to do the best we can given the circumstances.”

The building, to be called Main Street Health and Rehabilitation, will house expansions of Columbine’s skilled nursing and assisted-living units, with an 8,000-square-foot common area to be shared by the two divisions. There will be 30 private skilled nursing rooms and a 60-unit assisted-living space.

In addition, Columbine will lease approximately 2,000 square feet from the nearby Poudre Valley Health System Windsor Medical Clinic for an expansion of ancillary services including rehabilitation, therapy, infusion, home-care and medical equipment.

The facility will accept both Medicare and private insurance, and will begin the search for both employees and residents next year.

When it is finished, the facility will create approximately 90 new jobs and fill a void in Windsor.

As it stands, Windsor does not have a commercial assisted-living facility, according to Wilson. Many people choose Windsor for retirement, and then end up in Fort Collins or Loveland for assisted-living or skilled nursing services.

The facility will also be an economic boon to Windsor, which has seen ups and downs in its employment base in recent years.

Oil and gas giant Halliburton recently announced that it would create 500 jobs in the area, but the town could also suffer a blow if Vestas decides to lay off U.S. workers, something the company has said is contingent upon what Congress decides to do about wind production tax credits.

“We will welcome (Columbine) with open arms,” said Clay Drake, president of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.

Vaught Frye Larson Architects designed the building and Drahota will construct it.

In addition to the health care jobs created when the facility is finished, 110 construction jobs will be created during the building process, according to Drahota owner Terry Drahota.

After the groundbreaking, the facility could be finished in approximately 12 months, according to Wilson, but the process could take longer because of the regulations and requirements associated with constructing a nursing facility.

The two components of the building, skilled nursing and assisted living, will be separate from each other but will be connected by a common area that will include services required by residents of both areas, such as laundry and dining.

The campus will make three in total for Columbine, which operates a number of facilities in Fort Collins and Loveland on approximately 51 acres combined. Columbine Health Systems currently employs 1,250 people.

The system as a whole encompasses 14 buildings.

Columbine earns high ratings from Medicare and the company’s home care division, Poudre Home Care, was recently named in the top 25 percent of home health agencies in the country.

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, or

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