by ANNELYSE HARRISON
SILVER BAY, Minn. -After six months of hard work, the much-anticipated Silver Bay Carefree Living Center in Silver Bay is ready to open for up to 34 residents to move in by Dec. 15.
Spectrum Community Health, Inc., a private company, made the Assisted Living Center possible by financially investing in the estimated $2.8 million project. Spectrum Health has Assisted Living Centers throughout the state, including Duluth, St. Cloud and Ely.
Wade LeBlanc, president of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) in Silver Bay is excited about the new development."It will allow those residents that make this community what it is stay in the community," LeBlanc said. "It all goes hand in hand to make Silver Bay an enjoyable and viable place to live."
In May, the original building plan for the Assisted Living Center only contained a 28-bed facility, 16 beds for assisted living and 12 beds for memory care. In June, however, Spectrum Health added an additional six assisted living rooms to the plan.
"The response so far has been just great from the community, and we feel good about filling these additional rooms," said Jon Monacelli, vice president of Spectrum Community Health.
The Assisted Living Center will open up 20 to 25 full-time and part-time jobs and provide residents with 24-hour care, three daily meals plus snacks, planned activities, transportation, housekeeping and more.
According to Spectrum Community Health President Merle Sampson, activities are designed to create a community within the facility by bringing residents together.
The City of Silver Bay received $156,400 from the Iron Range Resources in 2006 to help remove the condemned Bell Apartments in hopes of building an Assisted Living Home. The Bell Apartments, condemned for health risks, was one of the first buildings built in Silver Bay.
"Some citizens were sad to see them go but most agree the Assisted Living Center is a nice replacement," said LeBlanc.
Although construction provided temporary inconveniences to nearby citizens, most agree it was a price they were willing to pay for the growth of their community.