$600,000 project began 40 years agoPublished 8:47am Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Nov. 26, 1969
A 65-bed nursing home will be built on Colby Street at the site of the I-Deal Nursing Home, it was announced today by Mrs. Lucille Deal, operator of I-Deal, and Wayne Schaffer, president of S. & T. Inc., which will build the new facility.
Construction on the new one-story facility will begin by the first of the year.
Cost of the structure is estimated at $600,000, with the equipment cost estimated at $120,000.
The opening of the Medicare-approved facility is expected by early fall.
This nursing home will be the first of several that S. & T. Inc. plans to build.
Contractor for the building is Schaffer Construction Co. of Kalamazoo.
Tozzer Plumbing and Heating of Kalamazoo is the mechanical contractor.
Architect for the project is James Parent, also of Kalamazoo.
The T-shaped building will occupy part of the 10-acre site of I-Deal Nursing Home.
The design is such that the same plan can be used to build an addition to the building, doubling the nursing home’s capacity to 130 beds, according to Schaffer.
Based on past experience, he said the addition may be needed within the next one or two years, depending on the demand for nursing home care.
All-masonry construction, using brick and block materials, will make the structure virtually fireproof.
The roof will be of concrete construction.
Patient rooms will be about 13 by 18 feet in dimension.
Each is designed to house two patients.
Special features planned for the nursing home interior include a barber and beauty shop, therapy room, nurses lounge and crafts area, as well as reception area and staff offices.
Parking will be provided for 30 to 40 cars.
The 18 staff members of I-Deal will service the new facility, which will require a staff of 50 to 60.
Mrs. Deal will continue to operate I-Deal until the new facility is in operation.
No decision has been made concerning the future of the present building.
Mrs. Deal has operated I-Deal for the past 18 years, purchasing it in 1951.
At that time the nursing home accommodated 14 patients.
It had been operated as Helen’s Haven for the previous 15 years.
I-Deal expanded to its present 28 beds in 1954.
Mrs. Deal said today she had been approached by other firms in the past for such a project, but that the plans of none of the other firms had coincided with her hopes for the future of the nursing home.
She said that after operating I-Deal for 18 years, she felt an obligation to the community, which the S. & T. plans will fulfill.
Construction moving rapidly
Aug. 27, 1970
Dowagiac’s new 65-bed nursing home is scheduled to be completed and ready for patients in late November or early December. The nursing home is being constructed at a cost of $750,000.
Mrs. Faye Cooper, formerly of Kalamazoo, recently moved to Dowagiac to become administrator. She is starting to take applications for new patients. Mrs. Cooper formerly owned her own nursing home for the past 10 to 12 years.