Orange Grove plans homes on Mountain Creek Road

Orange Grove plans homes on Mountain Creek Road

June 7th, 2011 in News

Sharon Matthews sits with her son Robbie at one of the Orange Grove resident homes. Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Orange Grove plans to relocate its oldest residential care facility in Glenwood to two smaller homes to be built on Mountain Creek Road by 2013, if state regulators agree.

Kyle Hauth, executive director for Orange Grove, said Monday the agency wants to replace an eight-bed intermediate care facility for mentally challenged adults on Glenwood Avenue with a pair of new four-bedroom homes to be built in the 5300 block of Mountain Creek Road.

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, which regulates construction of new health care and treatment facilities, is scheduled to decide in August whether to approve the two new homes, agency counsel Jim Christoffersen said. The homes are projected to cost Orange Grove nearly $1 million each to build, he said.

Orange Grove built one of the state's first intermediate care facilities for mentally retarded residents 22 years ago in Glenwood before the advent of today's modern motorized wheelchairs. The state's Department of Intellectual and Development Disabilities no longer allows for residential homes larger than four beds for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The Glenwood site "is quite steep and has been recognized as potentially hazardous by inspectors," Hauth said in the application for the state certificate of need required for the facility relocation.

"The plan for replacing our older home has been in place for about four years, but we previously ran into some technical problems with another site," Hauth said Monday. "This will be a better location, and it will allow us to build more appropriate homes for the needs of the individuals we serve today."

Orange Grove, a nonprofit agency that serves physically and mentally challenged children and adults, provides residential care for about 80 people with intellectual disabilities, Hauth said.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.