Empty Jamestown (N.D.) Hospital building will become housing downtownWhen Jamestown Regional Medical Center relocates later this month it’ll leave behind an outdated hospital building. When the former building reopens, it’ll be a state-of-the-art community for the elderly named Legacy Place on College Hill. “It’s the housing that will really anchor the development of this project,” said Jessica Thomasson, director of housing for Lutheran Social Services in Fargo.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
When Jamestown Regional Medical Center relocates later this month it’ll leave behind an outdated hospital building.
When the former building reopens, it’ll be a state-of-the-art community for the elderly named Legacy Place on College Hill.
“It’s the housing that will really anchor the development of this project,” said Jessica Thomasson, director of housing for Lutheran Social Services in Fargo.
Two-thirds of Legacy Place on College Hill will be divided into 49 one-and-two bedroom units for the elderly.
While the specifics remain a bit blurry, Thomasson said the JRMC Wellness Center will stay put. Work on keeping the cafeteria and making it open to the public continue.
“We’re hoping to start rolling out more information and detail in the near future,” she said. “But we want to have the summer about the hospital move and our story will be later.”
There still will be some time before the project starts. Thomasson estimates work will start in November.
“There will be a time when we are both (LSS and Jamestown Regional Medical Center) in the building for various contexts,” she said. “So we’ll both be in the building for the transitional period.”
Once the project starts, Thomasson said she expects the work to take 14 to 15 months and should be completed close to the end of 2013.
Exact details and specifications may not be developed but an overall look is starting to take shape.
“We started to put a face on what we have,” Thomasson said.
Artist renderings for different entryways are complete but beyond that, Legacy Place on College Hill will have a different look.
“We’ll pretty much gut it from wall to wall,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine where the new walls will be.”
When installing new walls, Legacy Place on College Hill will have a variety of systems installed.
“It’ll be completely new inside. Everything from heating systems to finishes,” Thomasson said of equipment and finishing work.
This is the first major service housing program for LSS in North Dakota, so LSS and Roers’ Development are being cautious when selecting the details. Roers’ Development is working with LSS on the design of the project.
The total cost of the project is slated at $7 million with $3 million coming from a U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant. That means some living quarters will be available for low-income elderly people.
The estimated costs to level the building ranged from $500,000 to $1 million. Instead, LSS purchased it for $1 from Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
“There was a very strong feeling in the community including people in the hospital, including myself, that wanted to keep the building in the community,” said Marty Richman, Jamestown Regional Medical Center CEO.
“We view ourselves as part of the community, and that includes where we can appropriately help with the health care, economics and general well-being of the community,” Richman said.
By working with LSS to donate the building, Richman said he believes more jobs will come to Jamestown and those jobs will help improve the lives of seniors.
Thomasson does not have a handle on how many jobs will be created or what services will be offered. She said it depends on the final mix of tenants.
“It’s very important in my mind to keep seniors in the community,” Richman said.
LSS also wants the building to be a place for the rest of the community with a potential conference room and chapel, Thomasson said.
“We try to make sure our projects meet community needs,” she said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com
About this series
Jamestown Regional Medical Center will open its doors officially on July 31. The public will get a chance to see the new facility before it opens through a series of public tours that begin July 16.
The Sun is looking back at the hospital’s history and where it’s going with the new medical center. How will patients be better served by the new facility? What will the Emergency Department look like? Who are the board members of the medical center? What is the economic impact of the medical center on the community? How are staff preparing for the new facility? And what happens to the existing Jamestown Hospital building?
Read the Sun’s 12-part series this week and next to learn more about Jamestown’s new hospital and how it will affect health care here.