Old hospital taking shape

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Note: this copyrighted article appeared in the Reedsburg Times-Press, article by Michael Carignan.
Drywall delivery to Park Street Senior Homes
Workers unload drywall at the old hospital as the building undergoes its transformation into Park Street Senior Homes. Michael Carignan/Times-Press
The restoration of the old hospital building into Park Street Senior Homes is moving ahead and on schedule to begin rental of apartments late in 2002 or early in 2003. "I never thought I'd see the day," said Community Development Authority Chairman Bill Carrigan.
Carrigan was one of several speakers to address a room of about 40 government officials and representatives from Heartland Properties, Inc. and Progressive Designs, two of the firms spearheading the project. The purpose of the gathering was two-fold in that it not only gave interested parties an opportunity to view mid-project progress but also to celebrate National Historic Preservation Week.
Those in attendance first heard Russ Kaney of Heartland Properties, Inc. give a brief history of the building located at 547 N. Park Street. Kaney told of the excitement he had toward the project. "What happens to old buildings?" he asked. "Demolition is often the answer."
"Vision and support from the neighborhood has saved this building," Ruth Domack, also from Heartland Properties, told the group. The restored building will be a blend of historic and new design.
Through a series of tax credit programs the city, WHEDA and Heartland Properties were able to raise the funds needed to move the restoration project ahead.
In the old building there were many rooms on each floor. The restoration will leave only a few rooms on each floor in the guise of spacious one- and two-bedroom apartments. The lobby will be restored the way it was and be used as a commons area. All floors will be accessible by elevator.
"I liked the project the first time I saw it, " said Nick Ladopoulos, the project designer from Progressive Designs LLC. Originally based out of San Francisco, Progressive Designs has been designing restoration projects since 1971. The company has worked out of Dane County since 1985.
"This is a wonderful renovation opportunity," said Geoff Wheeler, representative from WHEDA. "This is the most fun thing we do at WHEDA. We are like one leg of the stool." Wheda helped secure some of the historic preservation and housing tax credits needed to complete the project.
Monica Liegel, president of the Reedsburg Historical Society, accepted the original plans for the old hospital from Ladopoulos along with a check for $1,000 to have the plans restored. Reproductions of the original plans will be displayed in the lobby of the restored building.
Following the speakers and a luncheon, those that wished were given a tour of the work in progress.
Meridian Group will manage the property once the restoration is complete. The company has 27 years experience of managing properties in Reedsburg. Anyone interested in renting one of the apartments can contact Meridian Group at 608-286-2329.
Construction updates can be found at www.heartland-properties.com.

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