HOLDEN, Mass. — The Oriol family, who broke ground on the Holden Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center project last February, saw the final beam added to the structure Monday — a milestone in their efforts to expand their services.
"It's the end of a few first steps," said Bob Oriol, president and CEO of Oriol Health Care. "Having the steel up is a definite milestone, and there's no turning back. We have a good foundation, a good structure — and it signifies that this is happening. We talked about this for many years, and now what was pencil lines on paper is now steel beams in the air."
Founded in 1964 by Eugene Oriol, the nursing home opened on the same site with just 60 beds. Now, nearly 50 years later, his sons Robert and Dave Oriol look forward to a renovated and expanded building that will house 123 residents from the current Holden Rehab and Wachusett Extended Care.
After months of work, Robert Oriol said they are excited to open the north addition in October, which will introduce new patient rooms.
"This is probably the largest private project in Holden for a long time," he said.
Monday's capping ceremony not only celebrated the facility's continued progress, but also reflected on the company's family foundation. A tree from the Oriol's Christmas Tree Farm in Vermont was mounted atop the beam before it was hoisted into place.
Although Oriol said the incorporation of a tree is a Scandinavian tradition "to give homage to the wood that held the structure," he also said that it came from their family farm was also important.
"My father started the facility, so this keeps Dad still around," he said. "Even though my brother and I run a good-size organization, we still miss and mourn their loss of our parents."
Along with the signatures of residents, employees and workers, the Oriols also wrote a tribute to their father on the beam before it was added to the structure — ensuring that he would forever be a part of the facility's future.
To keep up with progress on the Holden Rehab project, visit the Oriol Health Care Facebook page for photos and updates.