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Glen Haven Village Construction Commences

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

Construction of the Glen Haven Village skilled nursing complex is officially under way.
City and county elected officials joined representatives of Pinnacle Construction, architect Pete Franks and the Glen Haven management team last Wednesday for a wall-breaking ceremony on the campus of the Glenwood Resource Center.

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The facility is being built among a cluster of six residential cottages on the GRC campus. Glen Haven Village will provide individualized skilled nursing and rehabilitative care in a homelike setting with the capacity to care for up to 80 residents. Each cottage will house 10-12 residents, with one of the units designated exclusively for memory support and Alzheimer’s care and another house set up to accommodate residents in need of short-term rehabilitation. The new complex will replace the aging and outdated Glen Haven Home that has served the Glenwood community for nearly 55 years.

“We’re going from dinosaurs to Star Wars,” Glen Haven Board chair and Rural Health Development (RHD) president Ron Ross said in describing the upgrade from the present nursing home to Glen Haven Village.

Each of the cottages will have single-occupancy suites with private bathrooms and a community dining and socialization area designed to provide a family-like environment, a concept that’s relatively new in the state of Iowa.

Glen Haven Home is a non-profit, community-based care facility, managed by RHD. The Glen Haven Board of Directors has secured a $5 million USDA Rural Development loan program to cover the majority of the construction costs. The 35-year, 2.75 percent loan includes funds to refinance Glen Haven’s remaining debt ($1.5 million) on the construction loan for Linnwood Estates assisted living complex it owns and operates.

An ongoing capital campaign, spearheaded by former Glen Haven board member Phil Warren, has raised more than $1 million in donations and pledges for the project, thanks in great part to a $500,000 matching donation from the Rod Rhoden Foundation. Donations are still being accepted. Construction costs have risen since the project was first proposed nearly three years ago, but Glen Haven officials have worked with Glenwood-based Pinnacle Construction, the general contractor, to reduce and minimize additional expenses.

Glen Haven has entered a 50-year agreement with the Iowa Department of Human Services for lease of the cottages on the state-owned GRC campus.

During last week’s ceremony, Ross noted that many people in the Glenwood community have stepped forward to help make the Glen Haven Village project happen, but singled out Warren and Glen Haven board member Larry Raabe for their perseverance in pursuing and promoting the project over the past three years, despite running into multiple roadblocks along the way as they pursued USDA funding, donations and a long-term lease agreement with the state.

Ross also thanked the city council and county board of supervisors for providing assured income guarantees - $2.2 million from the county and $200,000 from the city – that will serve as collateral on the loan, along with the $2.8 million appraised value of the Linnwood Estates assisted living facility.

“If both of you (city and county) hadn’t stood with us, this wouldn’t be happening,” Ross said.

The Glen Haven Village construction project is expected to be completed by late summer. Relocation of staff and residents to the new facility won’t take place until the entire construction project is completed.