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PLAINSBORO, NJ-Sweetwater Construction Corp. has commenced work on the New Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center. The long-term healthcare facility will rise on the 160-acre campus of Princeton Healthcare System’s new University Medical Center of Princeton, which is scheduled to open in 2011. Windsor Health Care is the developer of the rehab facility.

Designed by RMJM Architects, the 105,000-square-foot rehab center will offer 80 sub-acute care beds and 120 beds of long-term care. It will replace an existing 83-bed facility located at 79 Bayard Ln. in Princeton.

The sub-acute care unit is for patients recovering from surgery or prolonged illnesses that need specialized rehab services, while the long-term care portion will tend to patients who can no longer live at home. The two facilities will share a common kitchen and service areas, as well as an administration and a dialysis center.

The center is being designed to meet LEED standards. “We are delighted to be working on a construction project that will set a new standard for long-term care facilities as well as meet the sub-acute and long-term care needs of patients from the entire region,” said Ronald Witt Sr., president and chief executive officer of Sweetwater, in a statement.In addition to the New Merwick Center, Windsor Health Care also operates facilities in Essex, Bergen and Middlesex counties.

The structural engineer for the project is GPI Greenman-Pedersen Inc., with site and civil engineering being provided by French & Perrello Associates.

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