Officials broke ground Wednesday on the new Sayre Health Care Center skilled nursing facility and personal care home in Athens Township.

The 50-bed nursing home and 70-bed personal care home will be built on a 13-acre lot at Lamoka and Mile Lane roads. Construction is expected to take about a year, officials said Wednesday.

The nursing facility will replace Sayre Health Care Center's current location on North Elmer Avenue in Sayre Borough.

Senior Health Care Solutions purchased the facility from Guthrie two years ago and decided to build a new facility to replace the aging, antiquated building, said Michael Kelly, president and owner of the Scranton-based company.

The new facility will meet the needs of current and future residents, including private rooms and several amenities, Kelly said. Residents will be able to tend gardens on the site and utilize a walking trail, he said.

The personal care home will also contain a secured 30-bed unit for patients with Alzheimer's disease and similar conditions, Kelly said.

The $22 million project has been "a long time coming," Kelly said. Finding a site was challenging because state regulations limit how far a nursing home may relocate from its current building, he said.

The new facility will create at least 60 full-time equivalent positions in all areas, including administration, nursing and support staff, Kelly said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: