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Published November 15, 2009, 12:14 AM

Developers want to convert Jamestown Hospital to seniors complex

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Plans regarding what to do with the current hospital here are moving forward now that federal funding has been received to build a new multimillion-dollar hospital.

By: By Ben Rodgers, Forum Communications Co., INFORUM

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Plans regarding what to do with the current hospital here are moving forward now that federal funding has been received to build a new multimillion-dollar hospital.

Lutheran Social Services and Roers’ Development Inc. plan to transform the current Jamestown Regional Medical Center into a senior housing complex with businesses and public meeting rooms, said Larry Nygard, a vice president at Roers’.

On Friday an application was sent to the Housing and Urban Development office in Denver for the HUD-funded senior living part of the project.

The HUD funding represents about 20 percent of the project’s estimated

$8 million to $10 million cost, Nygard said.

The project offers the potential for about 50 living spaces ranging from apartments to assisted-living care units, he said. It also would include office space for businesses geared toward seniors as well as public meeting rooms and a chapel.

In order to create this complex renovation, work will need to take place.

“The whole hospital will be gutted out with a few exceptions,” he said.

Roers’ wants to salvage some of the features in the entryway but, beyond that, gut the walls and rebuild, Nygard said.

The ambulance garage on the north side of the building would be knocked down, and the wellness center in the hospital would stay put, he said.

About 25 to 30 percent of the building will not be dedicated to housing, Nygard said.

Instead, one idea he has is a high-tech meeting room that the public will be able to use for presentations and webinars.

“To keep that building alive and a benefit to the community is very exciting,” said Bill Kennedy, marketing director at Jamestown Hospital.

He said seniors are a growing population and offering the combination of these services is appropriate.

“When we’re finished, the hospital building will be a destination for the elderly in Jamestown,” Nygard said.

Although the HUD funding is a pivotal part in the process, if it is not approved, other avenues will be explored, he said. Nygard expects to receive word about HUD funding approval by March 2010.

Ben Rodgers is a reporter at the Jamestown Sun, which is owned

by Forum Communications Co.

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