Mother Nature cooperated with a pleasant, sunny day for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Schmitt Woodland Hills Health Center last Wednesday.
Witnessing the ceremony were a mixture of Schmitt Woodland Hills (SWH) management, project coordinators and the general public.
As a result of the skilled nursing facility completion, 50 residents will be served in private rooms with private baths. Plans are for residents to move in during the first week of June.
Sometime in August completion of the entire project is planned, including Westview Assisted Living facility renovations and the newly created Main Street, with a new front entrance and lobby.
Wednesday’s ceremony began with a welcome and opening remarks by SWH Administrator Jim Olson, followed by prayer led by Chaplain Craig Peach.
Also addressing the assemblage were the following.
Tom Martin of Community Living Solutions, the project architect, said preliminary discussions began in 2011, followed by an interview and hiring process in 2012. “It’s been a very positive journey,” Martin said, “but there were challenges: the hillside, spongy ground and the weather.” Still, he said, “Kraemer Brothers did a fantastic job of staying on schedule.” As for SWH, he said, “I’ve never worked with a more committed organization. I’m proud to be able to be a part of the team that worked with them.”
Ty Martin of Badgerland Financial, who noted that his firm is celebrating 100 years in 2016, stated, “We’re glad to help finance. It’s our mission, our statement. It’s a project I love supporting.”
Jay Jones of USDA said, “Jim Olson is to be commended for his efforts. USDA is in a position to help non-profits with success.” He said that USDA is happy and proud to be involved in rural projects.
Tom Kraemer of Kraemer Brothers Construction addressed the SWH staff by saying, “We thank you very much and congratulate you on what you’ve been able to achieve here at Schmitt Woodland Hills. Community Living Solutions is a great company to work with. Fifty years ago this month we (Kraemer Brothers Construction) started the construction on the original building. We’ve been back almost every decade with expansions and renovations.”
Richland Center Mayor Paul Corcoran said, “Schmitt Woodland Hills’s new project will be an asset to our community. They will create an exceptional facility.”
SWH Board Chairperson Linda Harlan Post stressed the importance of the new Health Center to the area. “Schmitt Woodland Hills has exemplified the word community,” Harlan Post said. “…Their values distinguish them from other facilities. Seniors will find fellowship with old and new friends. There’s a peace of mind that loved ones are well-cared for. We’re building now to be here when you need us. It’s not a final destination, but a community where you can age gracefully.”