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Design Center January-2001

January 1, 2001
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Methodist Manor Retirement Community, Storm Lake, Iowa January-2001
Methodist Manor Retirement Community Storm Lake, Iowa
Type of Facility/Setting:
Architecture Firm:

Resident Capacity:
Total Area:
Construction Cost:
Cost/Square Foot:
Independent Living
Terry L. Penniman, EdD
Sylvia Hills Architecture
(612) 286-6661
38 units
48,000 sq. ft.
$2.5 million
Terry L. Penniman, EdD, president and CEO, Methodist Manor Retirement Community:

"We did a two-year market study and found that we could justify building 55 to 58 units for independent living. We decided to keep it to 38 for now, and the building was filled before it opened in 1998. The common areas have been sized to accommodate another 20 units, and we have property available to build them if we choose. The facility connects with a 60-unit assisted living section and a 93-bed skilled nursing section, in one large complex about a block long.
"An important part of the process was involving baby- boomer community members to join us in planning a facility that would appeal to them 10 to 15 years down the road. We heard, and responded to, several preferences-privacy, openness, access to outside activities and an enclosed patio-yet plenty of indoor activities are available, such as an exercise/game room, craft/activities room, a beauty shop and a technology center for computer use. They wanted one-bedroom units with large living rooms rather than two-bedroom units, and for overnight guests we've provided a guest room with two single beds renting at $25 a night for seven nights. That room is used a lot, and we should have another.
We also probably should have provided more garage space. Though we were told that people give up their cars at this age-they average 86 years old-in fact, some own multiple cars, and even a pickup truck.

"Some of the more popular features are our open dining room, serving one meal a day-every unit has a full-size kitchen-our library and a cozy fireside lounge. Most rooms have a view of Storm Lake. No one ever has to leave the building in cold weather.

"We have plans now to relocate 44 units of assisted living to a new facility five blocks off-campus and remodel that space into an "aging in place" apartment complex. These would be two-bedroom units designed for couples. People living there would receive all the healthcare and other services they need for the rest of their lives, without having to move. The units would be designed flexibly to accommodate whatever equipment is needed, such as special beds or oxygen, but people would not pay for these until they were needed. I think this is the way things are going, and I'd like to remodel the entire facility in this way someday."