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Adrian breaks ground

Julie buntjer/Daily Globe Helping to break ground Tuesday noon on the new Adrian Country Living and Memory Care Cottage were: Diane Thier (front, from left), Don Shorter, Kay Cox, Doug Petersen, Lori Mulder, Stuart Bailey, (back) Scott Hanson, Steve Mork, John Faber, Joyce Broesder, Bruce Heitkamp and Ed Marsolek.

ADRIAN -- A little bit of rain and a little bit of cold could not put a damper on the celebration in Adrian Tuesday noon, as community leaders and architects gathered to break ground on a new assisted living and memory care facility.

The project will expand the options for senior care in the community, and is being constructed adjacent to Adrian Country Living, a skilled nursing facility formerly managed by Sanford Health.

"This whole project started about 18 months to two years ago," said Adrian Mayor John Faber during an indoor gathering prior to the groundbreaking. Back then, Sanford had recommended the community look at additional senior options for its residents.

Today, Sanford continues to operate the local clinic, while ElderCare of Minnesota has taken over management of the skilled nursing facility. ElderCare will also manage the assisted living and memory care complex.

Work has already begun at the site, which will include the construction of a 13,000-square-foot addition to Adrian Country Living. The addition will include 10 studio apartments each for the assisted living complex and memory care unit, all to be built on the south side of the existing facility.

"The new cottages will be a very homelike place to live and visit," said Lori Mulder, Adrian Country Living campus administrator. "Each apartment will feature a kitchenette and a full bathroom. Focal points of the cottages will be a living room, a country-style kitchen, a garden room, patios and family rooms."

In addition to the assisted living and memory care complex, a 4,000-square-foot addition is also planned on the north side of the nursing home for six independent beds.

The total project is estimated at nearly $2 million, with Sanford chipping in $390,000 as a community investment, and the City of Adrian financing the remainder through the sale of general obligation bonds. The building project is expected to be completed early next summer.

The base level of services for residents in the new facility will include full utility services, 24-hour security and 24-hour staffing, an emergency call system, door security, fire protection systems, three meals per day, weekly housekeeping, limited laundry service, medication management, periodic nurse assessments, bathing assistance and planned activities.

Steve Mork of Dalmark Development, who is the consultant to the city on the project, said the city and the steering committee made some difficult decisions as they progressed to the decision of developing an assisted living and memory care complex.

"It's all about making sure that we have these services not just tomorrow or next year, but 10 or 20 years from now," Mork said. "It's all because we believe in the future."

Faber said the city is already looking ahead to the development of a congregate living facility west of the Adrian City Hall.

"It's taken us quite a while, but I think we're headed in the right direction," Faber said.

Adrian City Administrator Bruce Heitkamp commended Adrian city leaders for moving ahead and bonding for the project.

"We've got a progressive council that is looking toward Adrian's tomorrow and learning from our past to create a better city," Heitkamp said.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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