On February 12, 1977, St. Francis Manor residents were first admitted into the new 51-bed facility. Currently, St. Francis Manor is celebrating 35 years of providing quality healthcare. St. Francis Manor now has 78 beds and is the highest-rated, skilled nursing facility in Poweshiek County. The campus hosts a 27-acre retirement community (Seeland Park), home healthcare services (Community Services of St. Francis), and the St. Francis Manor Foundation (founded in 2009).
The Foundation’s initial goal was to oversee a much-needed update to the entire St. Francis Manor facility. Ground was broken on December 23, 2010, for the $4.5 million project. Today, St. Francis Manor is happy to announce the building renovation is 80% complete. The project is financed by the USDA Rural Development with a $1 million community facilities direct loan and $50,000 community facilities grant to assist with the project. Over $350,000 has been raised through community support.
Completed areas of the facility include the remodeled social center, a new state-of-the-art kitchen, resident dining facilities, and administrative and nurses’ offices. Work continues on the south lobby and activity area, the physical therapy area, hallways and room renovations.
Over 300 daily meals are served on campus, in addition to regularly scheduled banquets for St. Francis Manor and Seeland Park residents and their families and other community events. The dietary department is collaborating with Corporate Chef Steve Tiezzi from Martin Brothers Distributing to develop an enhanced and new a la carte menu for residents.
“Features of the new kitchen include a walk-in cooler and freezer, automated beverage dispenser, slow roast and hold oven, proof and bake pastry oven, expanded grilling capabilities, mobile heat carts, hot and cold buffet line with griddle, and expanded food preparations,” says Culinary Director Don Schrack.
Special events and daily meals are already being served in the social center. Special event meals have included a Thanksgiving dinner buffet and a prime rib dinner buffet in February. Over 285 people enjoyed the recent Easter brunch buffet on campus. “The new kitchen, dining room and administrative wing are beautiful. The kitchen is certainly a spacious state-of-the-art facility and any chef would likely welcome and appreciate all it has to offer for food preparation and service. The areas patronized by our residents, guests, and staff members provide feelings of comfort and class. We are fortunate that so many friends and community members have recognized the importance of providing first-class facilities to serve our residents and contributed to our building project,” said Barb Baker, chairperson of the St. Francis Manor Foundation who attended the prime rib dinner.
Many local groups and organizations utilize the social center for special events. The abundant space for meeting and entertaining allows St. Francis Manor to provide for the needs of families, residents, staff and the community.
Staff, residents and families are all excited to see the daily changes happening inside St. Francis.
“We have been working on the particulars of the nursing stations. Bushong Construction has been working on the hallway into the facility from the social center with all the wall coverings, railings, and flooring,” says Dianna Hoye, Administrator, RN. “One of our board members, Marlene Toney, and I have selected furnishings throughout the social center, and now we are working on finishing touches for the new offices and dining areas. I could go on and on!”
“We have completed two major areas in this construction project and are now remodeling the south lobby area which will be the new activities lounge and the individual hallways,” says Greg Long with Bushong Construction of Montezuma. “We want to thank everyone at St. Francis Manor for their patience and assistance during this construction project. We know it’s not easy dealing with the noise, dust and dirt from the construction process, but we know the facility will look great when the construction is completed.”
Completion of all major areas is slated for the end of this year. Renovation of all resident rooms will then take place based on occupancy.
“In order to imagine where we are going, we have to remember where we have been. So many people have affected this campus in a positive light, and we hope their legacy is carried on through this building project. Upon completion, we plan to celebrate with an open house for the public to view the completed facilities. We can’t thank enough our project coordinators, staff and our generous donors,” says Dion Schrack, Executive Administrator.