OXFORD – There was no mistaking the buzz of excitement in the air on Wednesday as the residents of the New York State Veterans’ Home in Oxford made the long-awaited move from the old 70s-era building into the new 220,000 square foot state-of-the art facility they will now call home.
Engineering the move was a massive undertaking, with all 242 residents and their belongings being transferred in the course of one day.
According to Karen Cally, health program administrator from the New York State Department of Health, the relocation was the largest ever undertaken by the agency, which has overseen operation of the state’s veterans’ homes since 1971.
Every effort was made “to make sure the move was comfortable for the residents,” said Cally. That included constructing a tented walk-way between the two buildings, complete with heating, lighting and even soothing music. And during the weeks preceding the move, meetings and tours were held for both residents and their families to make sure the transition was as stress-free as possible, she explained.