Tuesday, July 14th was a day of celebration at Sarah Reed Senior Living! After months of planning, we held a ceremonial groundbreaking and reception to mark the launch of the expansion and renovation project to our skilled nursing and rehab facility.
The program was to be held outdoors, but the threat of thunderstorms loomed, so we brought the ground inside for the occasion! Terry Carlin, Board President, served as the Master of Ceremonies. Speakers included Gale Magyar, Executive Director, Erie Mayor, Joseph Sinnott, and Gary Lee, Director of Administration, County of Erie. They all took part in the “breaking of the ground”. We were honored to have Mike Whitley, the great-great nephew of Sarah Reed with us as a groundbreaker as well. Another very special participant and groundbreaker, was Jane Joslin, our Reed Manor resident who lived here at Sarah Reed as a child.
Mayor Sinnott commented that Sarah Reed Senior Living meets a “critical need” for senior care in Erie. “Throughout the history of this community, Sarah Reed has been synonymous with senior care in this community,” Sinnott said. “The project being unveiled today represents the next generation of that.”
Reverend Richard Moyer, Sarah Reed’s Chaplain, blessed the ground and Terry Carlin told the history of a shovel to be used in the ceremony. “The shovel used today has been handed down through the years and was used originally with the braking of ground in 1969 with the addition of residential living apartments and Zurn Pavilion. It has since served as the official project shovel for future groundbreakings. Today, we turn the ground once more, as we might turn the pages of a history book, beginning yet another chapter, full of anticipation and excitement.”
In her remarks at the Groundbreaking Program, Executive Director, Gale Magyar stated, “This project will enhance our ability to deliver quality health care and other services for current and future residents.”
The size of the skilled nursing facility will more than double with the expansion and renovation. Construction of the 47,456-square-foot, two-story addition is expected to begin in August and will be completed in about 14 months. The estimated $18 million project will also include renovation of the existing 40,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility. Renovations will begin after the addition is built and will take about a year to complete. Residents will move into the new accommodations in phases.
The Construction won’t accommodate additional residents but will provide more space for current residents, who now share double rooms. Each resident will have a private room and bathroom plus additional common spaces, including living rooms and recreational areas, enhanced dining areas, a specially designed rehabilitation suite, and an outdoor courtyard. The nursing units will be smaller, designed as intimate resident neighborhoods. The completed project will offer 105 private rooms and two semiprivate rooms for couples.
“The project will transform a facility that looks like and feels like a traditional nursing home into a facility that looks like and feels like a home,” said Dennis Wilkins, principal architect for the project, of Weber Murphy Fox, Erie. The contractor for the project is E.E. Austin & Son, Inc. Tax exempt financing has been approved through the Erie County Hospital Authority, and the lender is First Niagara Bank.”This is local collaboration at its best,” said Gary Lee, Director of Administration, Erie County.
In closing, Gale Magyar referenced Sarah Reed’s history and future. “It is told that this organization began at first as a venture of faith. There was no money, no building, no furniture; only faith and a determination to make it a success. The 1904 annual report refers to the confidence of the public in the organization, and I am proud to say that the organization continues to earn the trust of the community today…This project represents our commitment to the past and confidence in its future. It is with pride, faith and optimism that another chapter in the history of this organization is written. It is an expression of pride and belief in the continued support from the community, faith in the ability of our staff to continue to provide quality care and services, and a belief in the Mission of this fine organization.”