As seven shovels struck the ground on Tuesday afternoon, each lifting a bit of dirt from the land directly north of Newton Village, ground was officially broken for Newton Village’s Skilled Care Facility, an expansion that has been in the works for nearly nine months.
The concept for the nursing home had, however, been rolling around in Newton Village Administrator Gary Shebeck’s mind for nearly a decade.
“I started here February 1, 2004, and one of the first things I asked was, ‘when is our nursing home going to be built?’ Bob Dahl, our CEO, he got tired of listening to me and finally said OK after about eight years, maybe we can try to do this,” Shebeck joked. “This will be one of our final building blocks for our continuum of care. It is vitally important to have a continuum of care. I want to thank all of you for being here and helping to support us throughout the months and the years.”
While the benefit of the facility — which will include a therapy room, a spa and 22 resident rooms — is clear to the residents of Newton Village, Newton Community Development Director Bryan Friedman explained the boon to the community that the expansion will present.
“We love what this project does for economic development for the city,” Friedman said. “Investing million of dollars into this area helps those construction dollars circulate through our economy, plus new jobs are being created within this Skilled Care addition, so we love that from the economic development perspective.”
“Just as much, we love this from a community perspective,” he added. “Having this invested into the downtown and having this community of Newton Village expand so that families and friends can stay together through the continuum of care and building the connections with the downtown business, it really is a part of building that downtown community which is the heart of our community as a whole. We thank Newton Village for the investment, and we’re excited to get going on this groundbreaking.”
President and CEO of Elim Care, Newton Village’s parent organization, Bob Dahl, seconded Friedman and further explained the wide gamut of services the facility will offer its clientele.
“We are really excited about the enhanced services that this new wing, the Skilled Nursing Home, is going to provide the residents of Newton Village and the residents of the greater community of Newton as well,” Dahl said. “It’s going to be a great place for residents and clients that need long-term care, and also short-term rehabilitation care, and it’s going to be designed as a great, state-of-the-art addition to this building.”
“Gary and I had this discussion over and over again, so I want to congratulate Gary on his dogged determination,” Dahl joked. “We are here today because of his efforts and the staff at Newton Village and the effort that they have put into making today possible.”
Dahl added that Newton Village is a third of the way to its $300,000 goal in a capital campaign to fund the fixtures and furniture that will eventually fill the new building. While construction has yet to begin — Shebeck noted that “construction will begin very soon” — Dahl said the project should be completed nine to ten months after construction has commenced.