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Earlier this month, Pleasantview Home went public with its fundraising effort to help pay the cost of a two-fold expansion project.
Pleasantview is seeking to raise $5 million – half the cost of a new memory care unit and the renovation of the original building into assisted living apartments.
“The project itself involves two phases,” Pleasantview Executive Administrator Nick Jedlicka said. “One would be assisted living, and the other would be a new memory support unit.
“Overall that’s a $10 million project for both of those things. Each one is about $5 million.”
Director of Advancement Larry Swartzendruber said that the project has been in the works for several years.
“This is board-driven, and they saw the need,” he said. “Plans have been put in place and mulled over. When it was approved, we started the process of doing some feasibility work and determining whether the community can handle a project of this magnitude.
“It was determined that it could because this community is very generous and supportive of Pleasantview.”
The assisted living project involves a renovation of the original Pleasantview building, which opened in 1958.
“It currently has 45-50 individual rooms that have been used for nursing care and residential care over the years,” Jedlicka said. “It’ll be renovated into a 31-apartment assisted living.”
He said the vast majority of the renovations would take place on the second and third floors of the original building.
“We’d be giving people a larger space and a more homelike space for the assisted living,” Jedlicka said. “It’s a combination of studio and one-bedroom larger apartments. We’ll take this building and make it a more homelike setting rather than a medical setting.”
Swartzendruber explained that assisted living is a moderate level of care that falls between independent living and full nursing care.
“Those who are in independent living are mainly on their own with monthly visits from an independent living nurse,” he said. “We have home health care that they can receive assistance if they need it, but by and large, they’re on their own.”
Pleasantview has 68 independent living cottages currently.
“The other level is full nursing care,” he continued. “That’s where all of their needs are met by our nurses, aides and staff. Everything is done for them.
“In between there is that sort of step where the needs are greater than what independent living can offer but not as great as what nursing care offers.”
Swartzendruber said that the aim is to make the apartments as homelike as possible.
“We are going to provide dining services for them, but the apartments will also have kitchenettes in them so they can do some of their own food prep,” he said. “There won’t be a stove or oven, but there will be a microwave and apartment-sized refrigerator in them.”
MEMORY CARE UNIT
Pleasantview’s current memory care unit is located on the third floor of the original building, which Jedlicka said needs to be updated.
“We’ve had a dementia care unit for several decades, and it’s served us very well, but it does need to be updated,” he said. “When it was developed, it was not required that it meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) standards. That from limits us as to who can be in that section of the building right now.
“With the new memory support unit is that it will be ADA compliant so we can serve more people who have dementia.”
The proposed new construction will be an L-shaped ground-level wing that will connect to both the north wing and what is currently the north side of the lobby.
That would create an enclosed courtyard, giving memory care patients a safe place to go outside.
“There will be a lot more open space,” Swartzendruber said. “That’s a feature of memory care. It’s more wide open.”
Jedlicka added that the new memory care unit would allow Pleasantview to go from nine beds to 14-16 beds.
“No dates are set in stone,” Swartzedruber said. “We’re starting to lay some groundwork as we get our more concrete plans in place. That includes putting people in place to help us design the rooms.”
Much of the timing depends on fundraising.
With an overall $10 million price tag, Pleasantview is looking to raise about half of that through donations.
“Our fundraising goal is $5 million,” Swartzendruber said. “We don’t have long-term debt at Pleasantview, so we’re planning to finance the remaining $5 million.”
Jedlicka said the project could break ground once half of the fundraising goal is reached.
“Once we hit the $2.5 million goal, we can start setting dates,” Jedlicka said. “We have met with some local contractors, and we’ll continue to visit with those folks.”
Swartzendruber added, “There are a lot of people in the community who want this to happen. They’ve jokingly said that they’re going to bring their own shovels and start digging pretty soon.”
“Fundraising has been done in a private fashion, but there was some knowledge in the community prior to our public announcement (at the Nov. 2 Benefit Sale),” Jedlicka said.
Proceeds from the 2017 and 2018 Benefit sales went toward this project.
“We hope the 2019 proceeds go to this as well,” Swartzedruber said.
To date, Pleasantview has raised nearly $1.7 million for the project.
“We’ve had excellent support so far from the people who have come on board and made a donation or commitment,” Jedlicka said. “We’ve had excellent participation.”
Swartzendruber said that Pleasantview is mainly looking for commitments at this point.
“We don’t necessarily need the funds immediately,” he said. “We’re looking for commitments down the road so we can budget better and plan our groundbreaking and construction process.”
He added that all sorts of gifts can be made.
“People are giving one-time gifts, as well as gifts spread out over three years or five years,” he said. “Gifts of stocks and bonds and other forms of giving are accepted.”
Jedlicka added, “Options can be tailored to the individual and what works best for them.”
There are naming opportunities as well.
“If someone wants to preserve their legacy or their parents’ or grandparents’ legacy, we have naming opportunities for a certain threshold of giving,” Jedlicka said.
Swartzendruber said that any and all levels of giving to the project are accepted and appreciated.
“We’re happy to visit with anyone about giving to this project,” he said. “We believe Pleasantview is important to the Kalona community, and we know the Kalona community is very important to Pleasantview.”