Shamps renovating old nursing home to be a nursing home

There has been a lot of interest in the former Yuma Life Care building.

A main rumor has been it will be used to house illegal immigrants.

“None of that is the plan here,” Justin Shamp said.

Justin and his parents Richard and Marsha Shamp, and Lauren Salinas, are busy remodeling the facility after purchasing it last fall.

The new owners said ideally they would like to lease the building when ready. Justin said he has connections to national nursing home franchises that could be interested, particularly when compared to the cost of building a new nursing home.

“That’s the ideal situation,” he said.

The brick, single-level facility was constructed and opened in the late 1960s. It served as a vibrant nursing home facility for most of the next five decades. It was closed about two years ago by its then-owner SAVA as residency dwindled after COVID-19 hit, and the corporation said it could not find a buyer.

It sat empty until the Shamps purchased it last fall. They began work on the building in December.

The owners said the building has good, strong bones, but was in need of repairs and upgrades.

“You should have seen it when we first moved in,” Richard said.

A fire suppression line had busted, leaking water above the ceiling. They have installed a new system, as well as insulation. The flat roof section in the central back of the building was replaced with high-grade material and a six-inch pitch. The roof above the west and east wings will be replaced soon as the weather warms. All the bedroom ceiling tiles in the east wing have been replaced, and some fixtures have been replaced where needed.

They are sanding the interior and painting it all white. Richard called it “white boxing” allowing a future user to utilize their own vision for color schemes and decorations. They have removed the boards from the windows. They said they do not have to replace any of them as they are in good shape. The heating and cooling system also are in good shape, though the boilers need a little attention.

Local contractors have been hired to help with the project, and the Shamps said they have been spending locally as much as possible.

They also purchased the empty lot to the south. Richard said it might be developed at some point.

Richard retired after 26 years in the military, and the family has been remodeling residential and commercial properties for the past several years.

The Shamps are having a garage sale of sorts Saturday on the east facing patio, featuring free and heavily-discounted furniture and many other items between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As for when the building will be ready to lease, the Shamps said they still do not have a firm timetable at this point.