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St. Mark’s ready for $13.4M expansion

St. Mark’s Lutheran Home is planning a $13 million expansion. -- Herald file photo

The board of directors of St. Mark’s Lutheran Home announced last week that it has closed on financing for a major redevelopment and expansion of the Austin senior community.

The $13.4 million project will be financed through long-term tax-exempt bonds, which went on sale in early December and quickly sold out.

“The redevelopment of Saint Mark’s is an important part of Austin’s future vitality as it will be a tremendous asset in helping people live more independently and stay in the community,” said Marty Helle, president of St. Mark’s board of directors. “We’re greatly looking forward to this next stage in St. Mark’s long-term commitment to serving Austin area seniors and their families.”

The redevelopment will include:

• Relocating 25 assisted living apartments to newly constructed space;

• Renovating 20 apartments for new memory care assisted living;

• Replacing 16 long term care rooms with a new wing for short-term rehabilitation services;

• Remodeling the remaining 45 long term care rooms;

• Creating a new occupational and physical therapy area, a multi-purpose gathering room, chapel and living area, all near the new front entrance to the campus on 4th Street;

• Relocating and enhancing the beauty shop and café area.

Construction is expected to begin in late January and will take about 13 months, with completion in the spring of 2013. Ecumen, which manages St. Mark’s, will lead the development of the project.

“We’re seeing growing demand in the area for assisted living options and shorter-term rehabilitation services, and this initiative is key to meeting that demand and providing expanded housing and service options at St. Mark’s,” said Chris Schulz, St. Mark’s executive director.

No residents will need to move away during construction, but some residents will be relocated, according to Schulz.

“Our goal is to make this as seamless as possible for our residents,” Schulz said.

For more information about the expansion or about St. Mark’s, contact Schulz at 507-434-7216 or chrisschulz@ecumen.org.