Construction on $10 million expansion at Lutheran Community Home is underway

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not halted construction of a $10 million expansion project at Lutheran Community Home in Seymour.

But there have been some setbacks related to the virus, said Karyn Fleetwood, executive director.

Workers from Summit Construction and Goecker Construction continue to make progress on the addition, which includes a 17-unit independent living apartment building, a new garden home duplex and a new, larger maintenance building.

“The apartments are about a month behind the original schedule due to COVID-19, primarily due to delays in utility work that needs to be completed,” Fleetwood said.

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In late February, officials associated with the project gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to signal the beginning of the future for the senior residential community located at 111 W. Church Ave. on the south side of the city.

The first phase of the project is the 4,357-square foot maintenance building, which is slated to be finished in August. It includes a three-bay garage, a workshop area with office space and a second-floor large storage room.

Fleetwood said the new maintenance building will be more aesthetically pleasing to neighbors and the community than the old one.

The three-story 32,378-square-foot apartment building will offer 10 one-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom units. It will sit to the south of the existing assisted living building and be accessed off of State Road 11 or South Walnut Street through the current staff parking lot.

The apartments will feature kitchenettes, private bathrooms and patio/balconies. Other amenities include a communal dining room with exterior patio and full-service kitchen, large lounge/activity room, a bistro and lounge on the first floor, a fitness room on the second floor and another large lounge/activity center on the third floor.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in March 2021.

The apartments will be similar to the facility’s Church Avenue Manor Apartments constructed in 1996 and are part of Lutheran Community Home’s long-range plan to meet the changing needs of the community.

“We provide a variety of living options, along with services, amenities and a continuum of care, designed to address the changing needs of our residents as they age,” Fleetwood said.

Independent living is one of those growing needs.

“We chose to focus on providing an environment that promotes an active and engaged lifestyle,” she said.

Besides its assisted living facility and independent living apartments, Lutheran Community Home owns 10 duplexes or garden homes on its campus.

The expansion includes construction of one new 2,028-square foot duplex at the corner of Gaiser and Cardinal drives, which will serve as a model for future ones.

Features include two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage for each side along with an open-concept floor plan with 9-foot ceilings, a large master bedroom with walk-in closet, fireplace and private patio.

Construction on the duplex is slated to be finished in October.

Future goals for Lutheran Community Home are to create a separate rehabilitation unit with at least 20 private rooms and a new, larger therapy gym and courtyard, expansion and renovation of the long-term care facility to include more private rooms, increased common and nursing spaces and private bathrooms for all residents and expand memory care services by adding two 12-bed houses.

“We currently have a waiting list for all levels of care, and we are committed to meeting the needs of the residents of Jackson County as we have done for over 50 years,” said Lou Voelker, chairman of the Lutheran Community Home board of directors.