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The proposed floor plan includes cottages, extended stay units and the highly desirable assisted living plus. (Courtesy of Helenske Design Group)

Greenwood Connections reviews expansion options

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Menahga's nursing home proposed building expansion project includes four phases.

The Greenwood Connections Advisory Board reviewed this week preliminary options for the project that's currently in the beginning planning stages.

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Helenske architects designed three plans for the board to discuss. Each includes a different layout of assisted living plus, extended stay, assisted living units and cottages.

The board chose one of the plans that would be the most convenient to staff and attractive to potential residents.

Because there is currently a need for assisted living plus, the first phase of the project would add 12-14 units on the northwest side of the existing building.

"This all started with 'we don't have assisted living plus,'" said Kim Rasmussen, a council representative on the board. "That's the piece that's missing from the puzzle."

Along with the addition of assisted living plus, a cluster of extended stay units would be added in the first phase of the project.

The board agreed that by first adding assisted living plus to the expansion, more residents would be attracted to the facility.

The second phase of the project includes assisted living units. This phase is also important because there is currently high demand for that type of care in the community.

Remodeling the existing nursing home would fall under phase three of the project. The council and the board have discussed in the past that remodeling nursing home rooms is crucial to keeping it alive and going even after the expansion.

To make the facility more attractive and competitive, town home-style cottages would be built during the fourth phase of the project.

The cottages would sit on the south side of the existing building with a view of the woods.

Artchitect Mike Erickson of Helenske said he would have more specific details on the project next month. He plans to provide square footage information and an estimated budget.

According to the city's finance manager Ehlers & Associates, the city can either finance this type of project with five percent of the city's taxable market or a $3 million bond.

Once the estimated budget is finalized, the city council will have an idea of how much the whole project will cost and be able to move forward.

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