Freezing weather and snow flurries couldn’t stop more than 200 people from celebrating the completion of a major health care expansion in Oneonta.

Warm smiles beaming with local pride greeted everyone who watched TLC Nursing Center staff members and local dignitaries cut a red ribbon to officially open a new rehabilitation wing. The $3 million project took eight months to complete and covers more than 12,000 square feet. It encompasses 14 private rooms with private bathrooms, a large dining room with a fireplace, nurses’ station, reception area and therapy gym. The grand opening was held November 15.

“Thanks to all of you for being here, for your support and everything that you do,” Mark Sims of Trinity Management, the parent company of TLC Nursing Center, told the crowd just before he cut the ribbon. “Your support will help us be successful as we go forward.”

The therapy gym is 2,000 square feet. It’s equipped to offer speech, physical and occupational therapy. Occupational therapy patients will use a full, homelike kitchen and laundry that will help them adjust to life at home after their rehabilitation stay. The entire gym is accessible via a track lift system. The track lift system allows a patient to only bear a portion of his or her weight while rebuilding their strength.

“TLC is a major employer in our community and this expansion will only serve to increase their impact on our local economy and job market,” Barbara Anderson, president of the Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release.

With the expansion, TLC Nursing Center now has 27 private rooms. It can provide care for up to up to 103 people and offers long-term care services in addition to therapy.