The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

October 1, 2011

Ella Smither to change facility and name

HUNTSVILLE — Veteran's Memorial Parkway will soon have a new feature gracing its miles of green pastures – the new Ella Smither Geriatric Center.

The center will be renamed MRC Creekside and will feature 72,000 square feet of nursing facilities.

Paul Beathard, MRC vice president, said the center will feature 36 assisted living apartments, 66 skilled nursing and rehabilitation units and 18 memory care Alzheimer suites.

“It's going to be state of the art,” he said. “We'll have nine acres at the new site. Right now, (at the facility on 11th Street) we have 99 beds and all are skilled nursing.”

The new MRC Creekside will be on Veteran's Memorial and at the corner of Smither Drive. The facility on 11th Street has operated as Ella Smither for 26 years and was Huntsville's hospital prior to that.

Beathard said the Smither name was dropped at the new location in favor for a name that would reflect its new location. There is a creek nearby and Creekside was born.

“It's going to be the premiere facility in town,” Beathard said. “The quality of care is still going to be good. It's going to be more home-like than a regular nursing home. It's going to be very pretty.”

There are 77 residents living at Ella Smither and all will be moved to the new location when it is built.

“It's a pretty big facility,” Beathard said. “We've been working on this for the last three years. We finally got it all worked out and it's a done deal now.”

Beathard said he's proud for Walker County and what this new facility will mean for residents at Ella Smither.

“I live in College Station now. When they gave me a chance to come back here, I jumped on it,” he said. “Huntsville is a great place.”

Construction will start with dirt work on Nov. 4 with a groundbreaking to follow. The facility should be open sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

For more information, call (936) 295-0216.

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