Eventide reveals plans for its facilityThe plan to replace existing facilities at Eventide at Hi-Acres with two-story buildings featuring private rooms and assisted living has drawn concerns from some neighborhood residents. The four-phase project would take five years to complete, with Eventide remaining open throughout construction.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The plan to replace existing facilities at Eventide at Hi-Acres with two-story buildings featuring private rooms and assisted living has drawn concerns from some neighborhood residents.
The four-phase project would take five years to complete, with Eventide remaining open throughout construction.
The project is expected to cost about $25 million total, said Jon Riewer, CEO of Eventide.
While the number of skilled beds in the facility would drop from 142 to 119, the total occupancy numbers would remain approximately the same, because of the addition of 30 assisted living units. A skilled bed means the level of care, including 24-hour care, a resident receives.
Eventide approached Zerr Berg Architects two years ago to discuss improvements to its Hi-Acres building in Jamestown, but according to architect Brian Berg, the company quickly found that the existing Hi-Acres building had problems.
For example, its bathrooms are not up to current accessibility requirements. There are also issues with the building envelope and the roof, Berg said.
The biggest concern, however, is that the building does not allow Eventide to offer the contemporary care it wishes to offer to residents — private rooms.
After going through several permutations, Zerr Berg came up with a four-phase plan that, when complete, replaces every existing building on the Eventide campus in Jamestown.
* Phase 1: Tearing down the existing single-story concrete block building and the northwest corner of the Eventide building. In its place will be built a two-story assisted living building.
* Phase 2: Constructing two wings of two-story skilled care rooms on the southeast part of the site. Residents will be moved into these rooms when they are complete.
* Phase 3: Demolishing the eastern two wings of the existing building, including the chapel, and building all the core common spaces for the new facilities.
* Phase 4: Demolishing the rest of the old Eventide building, and constructing the entryway and chapel of the new building. In addition, the parking lot, now centralized and largely surrounded by buildings, will be completed.
Tentatively, Phase 1 will be complete in 2013, 2 in 2015, 3 in 2016 and 4 in 2017.
Residents would live in the buildings throughout the duration of the project.
Some people who live in the area have expressed concern about the project, with about 18 people turning up at an open house Monday to ask questions and look at design proposals.
Eventide had purchased two lots adjacent to their facility with the intent of expansion.
A request to the city of Jamestown for a zoning change to those two lots, which currently contain houses, drew neighborhood protests at a Jamestown Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
At that meeting, all of the people eligible to protest the zoning change did — all seven of the property owners within 150 feet of the property under consideration for a zoning change, excluding streets.
The commission opted to table the matter until Eventide met with people in the neighborhood and provided them with projected details.
“This is a great neighborhood. We appreciate being here just like everybody else,” Riewer said at Monday’s open house.
People’s concerns included possible changes to the traffic flow in the area, as well as the hassle of construction — noise, litter and unsightly heavy machinery that could damage streets.
Eventide is doing a traffic study to better answer questions about traffic, and it opted for two-story buildings with residential-style roofs rather than flat institutional roofs to try to maintain the look of the neighborhood, Riewer said.
Most of the two lots that were purchased will become green space under the new plan. The western edge of the westernmost property would be built on during Phase 2 in 2015, with the rest of that and the entire eastern lot becoming green space — a buffer zone between Eventide and the neighbors.
That’s if the Planning and Zoning Committee opts to rezone the two lots, enabling Eventide to build there.
Joel Traiser, one of several neighbors who had questions on Monday, said he would prefer the parking lots be on the exterior of the Eventide property, surrounding the buildings, rather than the buildings surrounding an interior parking lot.
He also suggested putting trees in first, so that they have some time to grow and provide a better buffer between construction and the neighborhood.
“The more you can involve us, we appreciate it,” Traiser said, encouraging Eventide to be forthcoming with its project plans.
Other people were concerned about having enough green space to form a buffer between Eventide and its neighbors.
“The buffer zones are as important to us and our residents as it is to the neighborhood,” Riewer said.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet again at 8 a.m. Monday at City Hall.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at email@example.com
Courtesy Zerr Berg Architects