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ACC planning move by JRMC

The Anne Carlsen Center Board of Directors is planning to move the Jamestown campus to a new facility after 73 years at its current location at Horseshoe Park.

The board and campus management are currently in an intensive planning effort called the Pathways to the Future Project to build a new center on a 15-acre lot the center owns on the east side of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center in 2016 or 2017. CEO Eric Monson said much of the current campus is the original structure from 1941 and the center has outgrown some parts of the building.

The center provides community-based services for children and adults with disabilities.

“Our organization has done a great job in terms of keeping it up and serviceable, but we also have some rather distinctive space changes that are required and special updates in classrooms and therapy (rooms) and so forth,” Monson said. “… We also looked at a project of staying in place and doing an extensive remodel of the existing facility. We continue to look at that, but it seemed that would introduce a level of complexity, and we probably wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Monson said the building had been mechanically and electrically evaluated several years ago and much work would have to be done to continue offering a growing demand for the center’s services. The building is also lacking adequate office space, and the heating and cooling systems need updating.

The facility currently has 54 residential students and a similar number of students who attend day classes. The campus employs 310 full-time employees and 47 part-time employees, plus 165 full-time employees and 46 part-time workers through the community services office that is located in northeast Jamestown. Community-based services include day supports and in-home supports. Monson said with the new facility he expects those numbers to go up.

“The entire campus may not move. We may have some of our services here and some in a new structure near the Jamestown Regional Medical Center,” he said. “We have three cottages (for housing students) … and those cottages would probably stay where they are.”

With the center’s close proximity to the river, Monson said the water table under the center is rather high and can affect the staff’s ability to perform upkeep and maintenance on the campus’ therapy pool.

On March 23, 2009, the entire campus had to be evacuated due to flooding, and classes and residents were  housed at the former Jamestown Hospital, the former Hi-Acres Manor, Heritage Centre-Ave Maria Village and the Zebedee Center at St. John’s Academy, while some students attended classes at Trinity Lutheran Church. The basement of the center’s guest house was destroyed, and the remaining structure has since been donated to Rokiwan Camp at Spiritwood Lake. The campus was closed until June 11.

“This move has little to do with flooding,” Monson said. “I have been asked before about moving because of floods or water, and that is not the major concern at all; it rarely comes up. It has to do with the age of the building and the need to design differently for the types of services that we offer and for the youngsters we work with here. We have an expanding young-adult population here, and it looks like the demand for those services will continue.”

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at