CALLAWAY – Eighteen months ago, the Callaway Economic Development Committee, planning for an assisted living facility in the village was gaining momentum.
Then COVID-19 shut down almost everything and the work stopped.
“We had worked on financing plans, a market study to determine the need for an assisted living facility, and we were very close to a real beginning of collaboration with an architect to start a design and, of course, everything. ‘ended with a scream. stop,” said committee chair Brett Eggleston.
The committee began to pick up where it left off about three months ago, resuming work on the plans. It is almost time to start looking for funding and donations to fund the project. Eggleston said a more permanent board would also be formed, dedicated to all decision-making processes for the entire project and its likely advisory capacity when completed. Whether this advice is combined with CGLC advice or separate depends on the legal aspects.
After much discussion, a first mechanical drawing of how the committee views facility design was presented by Clay Mohr of Arnold. The vision is 12 mixed studio, one and two bedroom apartment residences.
Mohr was inundated with a lot of information to form the initial designs, and then met with a small group of people to refine them.
“It’s a lively and breathable design right now”, said Eggleston.
LaVonne Hickenbottom donated the land adjacent to the Callaway Good Life Center specifically for the facility which was ceded and transferred to CGLC as non-taxable property for the non-profit assisted living facility.
The next step is to organize a community meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 12 at the Callaway Community Center to present drawings, information and receive public comments on the project.
“It will be a listening session but it will also be an opportunity for us to share our preliminary thoughts, our ideas and to generate the public’s interest in the installation, first of all. said Eggleston. “The second part of this will have to be, obviously, we have to have the money to start the next phase of the project which is going to be architectural.”
The drawings provided are ideas rather than a finished design, so its final look will be different as the vision meets the architectural design. It is a starting point.
“We can go to an architect and say to him: do we design something like this” said Eggleston. “You can go to them with a preliminary plan and they can form an architectural plan. “
Eggleston considers the financial aspect as three compartments, the first of which is made up of local donations, grants in the second and funding in the third. The latter could be done either by a bank or by the USDA to finance the cost of the installation for a number of years.
Eggleston said private funding through a bank seems less likely and the USDA increasingly appears to be the way to go.
While the drawing shows one bedroom apartments, the committee recently learned that a second bedroom is most likely a waste of money. Another Broken Bow property was revealed to be struggling to rent these two-bedroom apartments. A bed or even a studio is more practical for most who would use them.
“It is either empty or occupied by a single individual” he said of the two bedroom option.
Committee member Caleb Poore said that while there are many options that would be desirable in an assisted living facility, it depends on what is desired and what is practical in terms of cost.
“It will include most of the services offered by most other standard facilities, there is nothing that stands out so extraordinary there”, said Poore. “It will be a life with standard assistance. “
Eggleston said a rough estimate to build an assisted living facility at this level could be around $ 3 million.
The important thing to remember, committee members stressed, is that it is about living in an apartment. Although it is attached to the Good Life Center, it will not be a long-term care facility. It is an independent life with physical assistance only on request.
Cost savings in between can be achieved by sharing services such as food preparation, laundry, housekeeping, and administration of medications as needed. It also allows CGLC to achieve cost savings through more efficient use of staff.
Other savings could be to combine purchases of equipment and supplies to save money for both. CGLC is operated by Rural Health Development with administrator Vicky Hendricks.
Staff requirements are lower for assisted living facilities and the regulations governing them are much less stringent than a nursing home or hospital. The staff are minimal and are basically an apartment manager.
The goal is to make it a home that does not have the appearance of an institution. The facility will have its own parking lot for residents and visitors as well as its own entrance where residents and visitors can come and go as they please.
Inside are common areas for sitting and watching TV, cooking, eating, entertaining, as well as a recreation room and an exercise room. There will also be an office and a meeting room for the staff who will look after the establishment and the needs of its residents.
Poore said it all depends on where he needs to be in the planning process.
“At this point we need to start engaging the audience on the level of interest and donations”, he said. “I think it’s important to get the public’s desire in terms of what they want to see in assisted living. Then the board of directors Brett referred to is probably going to start engaging the public strongly enough to understand the financial opportunities there. “
This will be very similar to local efforts to build the retirement home completed in 1963 under the auspices of the Good Samaritan Society and the USDA-funded Grand Generation Manor, which opened in 1982.
Assisted living for the Callaway community can be seen as a way to bridge that gap between the two, Eggleston said.
It is a way of moving from one’s home, when the time comes, to the Grand Manoir de la Génération, then to serviced residences which are both independent lives. CGLC, depending on the individual, is the last step towards better managed care.
“The retirement home is another step in this aging process”, said Eggleston.