Southern Maine Health Care announced on Thursday plans to build a 90-bed, $21 million rehabilitation and skilled nursing care center in Sanford.

The facility, with a planned opening in the summer of 2019, would be a premier skilled nursing center featuring private rooms, according to Southern Maine Health Care officials. The plans are pending state and local approval.

“SMHC’s eldercare services have a long-standing reputation for high-quality, compassionate care. However, the facilities are outdated and need to be replaced. At the time of our merger, we set a goal to bring a state-of-the-art senior care facility to Sanford,” President and CEO Edward McGeachey said in a statement. “We have been continuously working on the best way to make that happen for three years.”

McGeachey referred to the 2014 merger of Goodall Hospital and Southern Maine Medical Center, which created Southern Maine Health Care.

The center would be next to Southern Maine Health Care’s primary care and specialty physicians, emergency department, day surgery and diagnostic and therapy services. It would be built by Sandy River Co. and operated by Genesis HealthCare.

The new skilled nursing facility would not affect The Newton Center, The Pavilion or Hillcrest Gardens, which now provide many of the services that will be offered in the new building. The three older buildings will be removed once the skilled nursing center opens. Residents receiving short-term rehabilitation and long-term nursing care at The Newton Center would move to the new facility and be offered first preference for rooms, according to hospital officials.

The new facility would not offer memory or residential care, so residents of The Pavilion and Hillcrest Gardens would transition to other facilities during the next year and a half.

The project would not affect residents of Mayflower Place, an independent living facility owned by the Sanford Housing Authority with services provided by Southern Maine Health Care.

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