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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Villa launches effort to raise remaining funds for project

  • Drive-thru project delayed so it can take place in conjunction with Sisters’ residence initiative.
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  • Villa St. Vincent continues with planning for the addition to the front entrance of the East Wing skilled nursing facility.  While they had hoped to start the project for this new addition this fall, it has been delayed until spring of 2013.  With the recent announcement from the Sisters of Mount St. Benedict about the future construction of new housing, replacing Marion Hall, it was determined that it would be prudent to delay construction to Villa St. Vincent until the Sister’s plans were solidified.
        
    The Sisters, who have been living in the former school building of Mount St. Benedict, have identified a need to build a new residence. Over the next three years they plan to deconstruct their current housing and build new housing adjacent to the wing which currently houses the chapel, administration, and their assisted living for the Sisters.
        
    This does not mean the "Drive Thru Entrance" project won’t continue as planned, but it is just put on hold while other decisions unfold, "hopefully only until spring," said Judy Hulst, CEO at the Villa. The main reason for this is to take advantage of building it in conjunction with the Sisters housing project, thereby avoiding potential costs that would result from moving the projects forward separately. Also, Villa St. Vincent continues fundraising as they are still approximately $140,000 short of what is needed for completion of the Drive Thru Entrance project.
        
    "This new addition to the facility is not a garage," said Hulst, referring to the drive thru. "As well as having the heated bay for safely getting in and out of vehicles, we are also creating more space for the Wellness Center, which has become one of our biggest programs."
        
    With the new addition, she continued, residents will be able to get in and out of vehicles safely while staying warm in the winter and protected from the heat and the rain in the summer. It will also allow the actual entrance to the Villa to be made more efficient, as right now the current entrance lets a lot of cold into the building in the winter and a lot of hot air into the building in the summer months.
        
    "While we do not know if plans for the Sisters new housing on their campus will ultimately impact the Villa project, delaying the Villa project till spring will give us time to continue fundraising for our needs as well," Hulst explained.
        
    So what happens to the money donated to build the "Drive Thru Entrance?" The Villa wants to thank those who have provided gifts and support for the project, Hulst and Lori Wagner, Villa Foundation director said, and to let those people know that their gifts have been placed in a designated fund and invested with the intent to use the funds once the project is underway. The gifted money will all be used for the new addition project as planned.
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