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Lakeview celebrates new facility

ABOVE Checking it out Foundation Director Mae DeWar-Aust leads a tour group through Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center's new independent living facility in Fairmont on Sept. 20.

FAIRMONT– Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont held an open house, celebrating its new addition, on Sept. 20. This provided the community the opportunity to tour the new facility.

Lakeview Director, Deb Barnes, said they were very pleased with the turnout.

“It was a beautiful day and we did the bulk of it outside. We still, as a healthcare facility, have Covid restrictions,” Barnes explained.

She said they gave small group tours to those who came. Barnes said there were a lot of community members who showed up, as many of the resident’s families have already seen the facility. While the majority were from Fairmont, Barnes said quite a few came from the surrounding communities in Martin County as well.

“We had probably about 250 people come,” Barnes said.

Residents of Lakeview moved into the new facility in mid-January. However, construction of the 81,000 sq. ft. building began in the summer of 2020. The project carried a price tag of $24 million.

“Everyone is delighted to be in this new setting. It’s welcoming, warm and comfortable. It has an at-home feeling that our old building did not have,” Barnes said.

She said the residents that moved over are happy to be in the new setting and new residents are thrilled to see that it’s not institutional, which is what they wanted to get away from with the new addition.

While the facility was almost entirely complete when residents moved in, Barnes pointed out that a $24 million project is a huge undertaking so a few behind-the-scenes features have been worked on over the past few months.

However, just last week a final walk through with the construction company, Kraus-Anderson, and other firms that had a hand in building the facility took place.

Capacity for the facility is 72.

“Like every senior living facility in the state, we haven’t been at capacity. We’ve been in the low 60s but going back up,” Barnes said.

She said as people re-enter the workforce, there’s not as many family members available to stay home and provide care so she thinks that’s in-part why they’re seeing an uptick now.

At the open house, Barnes said she acknowledged the board of directors, which she said was forward thinking throughout the planning and construction process. She also thanked the companies that had a role in constructing it.

“I also thanked our three, million dollar donors who gave us the seed money to get this project off the ground,” Barnes said.

That was the Tom Rosen and Erma Rosen Foundation, Marlin Milbrandt Estate and Ruth Draut Estate.

“We’re thrilled to be in and so happy to share our new building with the community, especially those who hadn’t been able to see it yet,” Barnes said.

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