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St. Clara’s breaks ground on new facility

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[October 28, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Wednesday afternoon, in spite of gray skies and spitting rain from time to time, a happy and excited crowd gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. Clara’s Manor. The official address of the new nursing care facility will be 1450 Castle Manor Drive, and it will be located between Castle Manor and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

The facility is being built as a replacement for the nursing home that has been on Fifth Street in a two-story building since 1972.

On Wednesday, St. Clara’s board member, Clyde Reynolds, was the first to take the podium and speak to the group. Reynolds talked briefly about the history of the St. Clara’s organization. He noted that the facility began as a hospital in Lincoln in 1884, named St. Clara’s Hospital, and under the ownership and management of the St. Clara Sisters. The hospital answered an important need in the Logan County community for several years, until the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital was built in the 1954 on Eighth Street in Lincoln.

After the new hospital opened, the Sisters realized that there was not sufficient need for two hospitals in the community, so St. Clara’s Hospital closed in 1962. A few years later, St. Clara’s Inc. was formed and it was determined that the focus would be on providing a care facility for the elderly. St. Clara’s Manor Nursing Home then opened in 1972.

Reynolds said that transitioning to the new facility will be a remarkable improvement for the St. Clara’s residents, offering new services and new accommodations, while maintaining the same quality staff, and loving care that residents are accustomed to.

Next up to speak was Lincoln Mayor Marty Neitzel. Neitzel said she was very proud of the new facility that would be coming to Lincoln through St. Clara’s. She said she was happy to say that Lincoln was a caring community that offers great care for all its residents in need of continual nursing care.

She noted that the project is being financed locally with the State Bank of Lincoln and its affiliate, Heartland Bank in Bloomington providing the loans that will make the construction possible.

She ended her comments noting that as a lifelong resident of Lincoln, she had two sons. One was born in St. Clara’s Hospital and the other at ALMH.

The third person to address the group was Ben Hart, President and CEO of Heritage of Care, the management company that now works with Castle Manor in Lincoln as well as St. Clara’s Manor.

Hart said that he too was excited about the new construction for all that it would offer its residents. He noted one of the best improvements would be that the new facility would be all on one floor adding convenience for residents as well as staff. He said that the new building was going to be designed with multiple common spaces, and better therapy facilities.

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He noted also that the new facility will complete a “healthcare” campus on the west side of town with Castle Manor as an assisted living facility, St. Clara’s as a nursing care facility, and the hospital as an urgent care facility.

He noted that Dolan Dalpoas was among the guests in the crowd representing the ALMH. The also acknowledged State Bank of Lincoln and Heartland Bank, noting this is perhaps the second largest development that has been built in the city in recent years.

The last person to speak was Mike Eads, Administrator for St. Clara’s Manor. He offered words of appreciation for those in attendance, but also for all the community support. Word the new facility was going to be built got around the community quite some time ago. Since that time, Eads has heard from several that they are happy about the new building, and support the project whole-heartedly.

Eads noted that for him, this was almost unbelievable, “If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago I would be standing here, giving this speech, I would never have believed it.”

When Eads finished, board members and other key members of this project were invited to come take up a shovel for the ceremonial turning of the soil. Those who participated included Steve Aughenbaugh of State Bank of Lincoln, St. Clara’s board members Don Peasley, Clyde Reynolds, Tonita Reifsteck; and Dr. Dennis Carroll, Mike Eads and Ben Hart.

After the groundbreaking guests were encouraged to go inside at Castle Manor and enjoy cookies and punch.

The building project, which is estimated will cost in excess of $15 million, is expected to be completed in the early part of 2018. The city of Lincoln is participating in this project, in that they voted in August to permit St. Clara’s to use the city’s bond issuance program for its loans through the State Bank of Lincoln. Lending its name to the project does not obligate the city or Lincoln taxpayers financially.

[Nila Smith]

Past related

City of Lincoln approves bond request for St. Clara’s Manor

Part 1: City attorney seeks waiver of conflict of interest

Part 2: Aldermen discuss issuance of Senior Service Industrial bond for St. Clara’s

Part 3: Lincoln aldermen vote 7-1 in favor of bond issuance for St. Clara’s Manor

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