The groundbreaking for the new campus of the Anne Carlsen Center was called a "significant and historic milestone" Tuesday by Eric Monson, co-chair of the Pathways Building Committee that raised funds for and helped plan the project.

With the groundbreaking, the project will move to the construction phase after years of planning and fundraising.

An artist's rendering of a student's room at the planned Anne Carlsen Center. Groundbreaking for the project was held Tuesday.
Contributed / Anne Carlsen Center
An artist's rendering of a student's room at the planned Anne Carlsen Center. Groundbreaking for the project was held Tuesday. Contributed / Anne Carlsen Center

The Anne Carlsen Center provides an environment of medical care and specialized education for those with disabilities and/or delays. The center has had a residential campus in Jamestown for about 80 years and provides services to others through a variety of remote programs.

The new campus will be located directly east of Jamestown Regional Medical Center on the south side of Interstate 94.

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Mike Meyer, chief development officer for the Anne Carlsen Center, said he had been involved with the project since he became employed there eight years ago.

Preliminary cost estimates for the project are $41 million with a fundraising goal of $12 million, according to an Aug. 25 article in The Jamestown Sun.

"We are not at the end of our campaign," Meyer said. "As of today, we are at 90% of where we want to be."

Meyer also announced the Anne Carlsen Center had just received an anonymous pledge to match up to $1 million in donations through the end of the year.

During the groundbreaking, speakers commended the community and staff for bringing the project to reality.

An artist's rendering of a study area at the planned Anne Carlsen Center on the west side of Jamestown. Groundbreaking for the project was held Tuesday.
Contributed / Anne Carlsen Center
An artist's rendering of a study area at the planned Anne Carlsen Center on the west side of Jamestown. Groundbreaking for the project was held Tuesday. Contributed / Anne Carlsen Center

"This project was a matter of when not if," said Tim Eissinger, CEO of the Anne Carlsen Center. "... there is too much at stake with the lives we care for here."

Mark Wax, U.S. Department of Agriculture program director, said the project is bigger than just Jamestown.

"This is a wonderful event not only for the Anne Carlsen Center but the state of North Dakota," he said. "This has a huge impact across North Dakota."

Alex Schweitzer, chairman of the Anne Carlsen Center Board of Trustees, said the project meets the center's goals of honoring the past, serving people in the present and planning for the future.

"It is a proud day in the history of the Anne Carlsen Center," he said.

Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said it was also an important day for Jamestown.

"Having the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown makes us a better city," he said.