Wondering what is happening at the formar Jamestown Hospital building? here is a great article about the renovations taking place at our original home.
Originally posted in The Jamestown Sun, August 23, 2012.
By: Ben Rodgers
Work on Lutheran Social Services Legacy Living at the site of the former Jamestown Hospital is progressing and officials hope to complete the project by Christmas.
When completed, Legacy Living will be the site of 51 apartments, James River Senior and Community Center, a day care and commercial entities.
Construction started on the project in November. LSS purchased the building in July 2011 for $1 from Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
Each one of the 51 apartment units will offer something different for residents of low-income and market-rate housing.
The 20 subsidized units will be open to people age 62 and older, and the 31 market-rate apartments will be open to people age 55 and older.
“It’ll be really fun for the community to walk through when we have an open house because it’ll be a real transformation,” said Jessica Thomasson, director of Lutheran Social Services Housing, of the project.
The only demolition for the project was the tear down of the surgery center on the northeast side. This allowed for more apartments on the first couple of levels in that part of the building.
Removing the surgery center will also allow for the construction of a courtyard with walking trails and a raised garden.
People will notice the work in the front of the building as the design is being changed to allow more parking space. Thomasson did not have an exact figure but said vehicles will be able to circulate through the area easier. The canopy in the front of the building will eventually be redone to fit the new use of the building as well.
“It’s just going to be a nice feature for the building and hopefully for the neighborhood as well,” Thomasson said of the entire process of changing the front.
Other construction has been done in phases. The majority of the work started in the center of the building and moved to the west side. Work now has started to take shape in the eastern part of the building.
“We should in a couple of weeks be at an even pace (with construction progress),” she said.
Some apartment rooms have cabinetry installed and others have boxes piled high. No doors or flooring are installed yet.
So many different things happening at once is the only hang up for the project, according to Nick Vanoverschelde, project manager with Roers, the main construction company on the project.
“On one end of the building you’re doing complete demolition and on this end we got flooring going in next week,” Vanoverschelde said.
Because of the shape of the building there really is no common floor plan. In total, 22 different floor plans are used for the 51 apartments. There will be one- and two-bedroom apartments.
“With the combination of different views and different floor plans, there probably are no two units alike,” Thomasson said.
The building also won’t just be housing units; there will be a commercial side/non-residential side.
Joining LSS Legacy Living will be the James River Senior Citizen and Community Center.
“Parking is the biggest issue,” said Laurie McGuire, executive director of the James River Senior Citizens and Community Center. “We have to turn away events because they look over the lot (and it’s full at the current location).”
JRSCC will likely move into the renovated building in January.
“The seniors are very excited and we’ve helped quite a few of our seniors with the application process for the apartments and that’s very exciting,” McGuire said.
A senior who typically spends his or her time at the senior center will have the ability to get breakfast or lunch, play cards with friends, take a nap and make it in time for dinner, she said.
There is also discussion about a coffee shop with homemade baked goods in the future.
Another aspect to benefit seniors is the Jamestown Wellness Center. No agreement has been worked out with management but Thomasson would like to see a discount for residents to use the exercise facility.
Another part of the commercial side is ME’s 21st Century Learning Center — a day care — which opened July 9.
“I asked around town and there really wasn’t anything except on Main Street and I didn’t want that because I wanted outdoor space,” said Emmy Hoffmann, director.
Hoffmann moved her day care from her home to LSS Legacy Living and expanded, with room now for 55 children — up from 12.
Thomasson said the LSS Legacy Living Center in Jamestown will be the first of its kind in the state with housing and other commercial services in the same facility.
“It’s really going to feel like a community place, not just an apartment building for people of a certain age,” she said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com