It was a quiet flurry of activity near the junction of Old St. James Road and Forum Drive Tuesday morning. Construction of the new assisted/independent living facility is moving forward to a targeted late spring open house.
It was a quiet flurry of activity near the junction of Old St. James Road and Forum Drive Tuesday morning. A team of landscapers were installing irrigation pipe, second story window trim was being added and painters were busy inside the clubhouse on this cold December morning. It’s the future site of a new senior assisted/independent living project by Willco Construction Company, based in Sikeston. Willco is no stranger to Rolla, having built the assisted/independent living facility, Parkside, on east 10th Street.
Americare is the parent company that owns and manages the facilities built by Willco and they specialize in assisted/independent living and memory care facilities that are located in primarily the Midwest and the South.
Tom Hurst is the superintendent for this new construction to be called—Parkside—something. He says the final name usually isn’t determined until the project is just about completed.
He says Parkside on 10th Street will undergo some changes to become a memory care-only facility while the new Parkside complex will become the assisted and independent living facility here in Rolla.
It’s a sizable layout with four duplexes, two triplexes and a clubhouse that is 20,000 sq. ft.
“Each one of the cottage buildings is approximately 2,000 sq. ft., so each duplex home would be about 1,000 sq. ft.” said Tom. “This complex is set up for 24 rooms, with 8 rooms being two-bedroom, so it could hold 32 residents.”
Americare facilities are fully staffed with a kitchen and chef, laundry, hair salon, on-site nurse and resident-aids to help residents and to dispense medications. The cottages have carports for residents that are still driving and also have kitchens and laundry hookups for those that still choose to do those domestic chores. Scheduled transportation and planned social activities are also standard in Parkside facilities.
Tom explained the hands-on passion of the owners. He notes they take special pride in the landscape design of the grounds and the artwork inside, chosen for its quality and aesthetics. There is a retention pond in front of the clubhouse that has been landscaped with trees and large boulders that will have a fountain in the middle, operating during the warm-season months of the year.
He said people will enjoy the all-inclusive lifestyle and the perks that a staffed facility can provide. “They’re upscale—really nice facilities,” said Tom. “I start at ground level right up to the time we hang the pictures.”
Inside the clubhouse, painters were hard at work, but it was easy to see the community dining room, private dining room, commercial kitchen, snack-breakfast bar and office space. Two residence wings spread out to either side of the clubhouse and will serve those residents that might require more assistance, so they are close to bathing facilities like a walk-in shower or tub and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. The rooms are airy, full of light and had many electrical/cable wall outputs to accommodate flexible furniture layouts.
“We like to give them (residents) as many selections, option as we can,” said Tom. Every room has its own thermostat for heating and cooling.
Construction has been going on since last December and Tom hopes to have the open house scheduled for April or May of 2018. After the open house, Tom will move on to the next job. He came to Rolla from a job in Lawrence, Ks. and before that, Quincy, Ill., so it’s a good thing he and his wife like to travel. When asked by RDN what he thought of Rolla, he said, “Rolla’s a great town!” He was beaming. He’s made some good friends here, most notably, the musicians in the local band Trilogy, because he plays percussion instruments. “I’ve done this (played music) since the first day I got here.”
Tom said “Rolla is a great place to do business.” He noted that Rolla is one of the few cities of this size that will respond quickly to a needed inspection. If concrete needs to be poured quickly, the inspectors will accommodate.
“Everybody has been very professional,” he said. They know what they want and help you [work with the town], in a way that shows a real team effort. Smiling, he repeated, “Rolla’s a great town.”