Good Shepherd Health Center, Heartland Properties, Inc. partner to build assisted living facility in Mason City

Wall raising ceremony planned to celebrate project
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Community leaders from Mason City, Iowa will join representatives from Good Shepherd Health Center and Heartland Properties, Inc. to celebrate construction of Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood, Inc., a 40-unit assisted living facility for senior citizens, at a 9:00 a.m. "wall raising" ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Key officials will pound a commemorative gold spike into the main wall of the facility's entrance and then together lift the wall into place.
The ceremony is open to the public and will take place at the seven-acre construction site located at South Kentucky Street and 19th Street South in Mason City. A brunch and brief program will immediately follow at Good Shepherd Health Center.
Attending the wall raising will be Mayor Bill Schickel, Mason City; Joyce Haynes, Alliant Energy Board of Directors; Dr. Judith Conlin and Carla Berg Pope, Iowa Dept. of Elder Affairs and representatives of Good Shepherd Health Center and Heartland Properties, Inc.
Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood will be the first affordable assisted living facility in Iowa and is being made possible through the partnership with Good Shepherd Health Center and Heartland Properties, Inc. This unique development is the first time federal housing credits administered by the Iowa Finance Authority have been used to help finance assisted living. As a result, rents will be affordable to elders with limited income. The building design includes four wings or "neighborhoods." Each includes 10 apartment units with a common lounge and dining area.
According to Diane Horning, president and chief executive officer of Good Shepherd Health Center, the advantage of assisted living is that residents can receive personal care in a more home-like setting than a long term care facility. She said assisted living also offers opportunities for social and recreational activities.
"Kentucky Ridge will provide a safe and affordable housing option for older adults who need help with daily activities but want to retain as much independence as possible," commented Horning. "Residents will be able to choose the services they desire and define their own life-style needs."
The 40 apartments - 32 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom were designed by Bergland and Cram Architects. They will offer a wide range of sizes and include handicap accessible full baths, kitchenette and living room. Other amenities include secure landscaped courtyards, garages and ample surface parking for tenants and their guests, chapel, library, soda fountain, beauty shop and large social area.
The facility will also feature an energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. The innovative geothermal system is being designed in partnership with Alliant Energy. Geothermal heating and cooling uses the constant temperature of the earth to preheat water in the winter and precool water in the summer significantly reducing energy usage for heating and air conditioning. According to the general contractor, Dean Snyder Construction, Kentucky Ridge is on schedule to be ready for occupancy in September 2002.
Half of the housing units at Kentucky Ridge are reserved for seniors earning less than 50-60 percent of the Cerro Gordo County median income. "Affordable and alternative living opportunities for the elderly are critical to meeting the varied needs of this expanding population," said Mason City Mayor, Bill Schickel. "The creation of Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood will fulfill a vital need for specialty housing in our community."
Kentucky Ridge is being made possible through a $1.6 million investment by Alliant Energy Resources through its affordable housing subsidiary, Heartland Properties, Inc. Additional financial support is being provided by Good Shepherd Inc., Iowa Finance Authority, the City of Mason City and a grant from the Senior Living Trust through the Iowa Dept. of Elder Affairs.
"We're proud of this important investment in the Mason City community," says Dean Baumgardner, vice president, Heartland Properties, Inc. "The emerging need for assisted living facilities is undeniable and we value the opportunity to partner with forward-thinking, growth-oriented communities like Mason City in meeting the demand. We hope to develop similar facilities across the State of Iowa."
For more information about Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood, call Jan Price at Good Shepherd Health Center, 641-424-1740.
Good Shepherd Health Center is the largest provider of services for Seniors in the State of Iowa. With over 250 licensed beds for long-term care, 230 independent living apartments, and twenty-two assisted living apartments in Mason City, Good Shepherd is able to fulfill its mission "to promote health needs and the quality of life of the aging in our community."
"Kentucky Ridge Assisted Living will complete the circle in our continuum of care," states Mike Svejda, Administrator of Good Shepherd Health Center. "This project will provide one more choice for seniors of North Iowa and their families when seeking personal services in their own home."
Heartland Properties is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Resources with a commitment to pursuing financial, economic development and community partnerships. Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood is Heartland Properties' latest investment in Iowa and one of more than 117 developments it has participated in throughout the Midwest.

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