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Company finds niche as owner’s representative

Eastern PCM overseeing $77.5M expansion of senior-living facility

Bill Morgan, left, of Eastern PCM LLC, a Cumberland County-based construction management firm, and Gregg Witters, senior director of strategic projects for Messiah Lifeways, work together as the Cumberland County senior-living provider starts a series of projects that includes a town square development on its Upper Allen Township campus. - (Photo / Amy Spangler)

Messiah Lifeways did something recently that it’s never done before: The senior-living provider hired an owner’s representative to oversee a construction project. In this case, the project is the $77.5 million expansion of Messiah Village.

“It’s very complex. It’s three projects in one,” Kristen Heisey, the faith-based nonprofit’s vice president of strategic development and marketing, said. “As we weighed the pros and cons, we found there was a lot of value in having someone who could focus solely on this project.”

The representative is Lemoyne-based Eastern PCM LLC, an agency construction manager, which was hired in October to serve as a liaison between the architects and the builders, she said. “It’s a checks and balances. It’s a fresh set of eyes, which we need.”

A company such as Eastern PCM might get involved in the early planning and design phase of a project, provide vendor recommendations and assemble the team that does the work. Or it might come in later to enforce project schedules, manage change orders and control the budget for the owner.

It might oversee the entire process.

Niche player

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Messiah Lifeways, which currently serves 700 residents at Messiah Village, will add 160 residents to its Upper Allen Township campus through the expansion project, which will take about 18 to 22 months to complete. The first component is Village Square, which will include 84 apartments, wellness and enrichment centers and two new dining options.

As part of Village Square, 16 existing cottages will be demolished. Messiah Lifeways also will add 26 personal-care apartments and 32 private nursing rooms, while converting 32 semi-private nursing rooms to private units.

The project should be done by summer 2017.

The work is proceeding at the same time as other projects at Messiah Village, including a $6 million renovation of its nursing neighborhoods that Messiah Lifeways is managing on its own.

Messiah Lifeways decided to seek outside expertise for the expansion project, which represents the first phase of the organization’s strategic plan, known as Project Envision, Heisey said.

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