Welcome to Peace Village: An Ecumen Independent and Assisted Senior Living Community of Norwood Young America
The community is invited to the March 31 groundbreaking and blessing for the Haven project. For Peace Villa Housing Manager Brenda Schmitz and others involved with the project, the date couldn’t come soon enough.
The ceremony will mark the completion of three years of planning with the group recently holding bid closing on March 9 and the signing of documents on March 18. “There were so many steps to get through but overall it kept moving forward,” she said. “It’s going to be very exciting to see everyone show up. Just having the notice to proceed was such a good feeling because there’s so many people working very hard on this for a long time.”
Now is the time to celebrate the start of the project, though, and Schmitz encourages people to take part. “We’re hoping to draw a nice crowd,” she said, adding parking is available with a shuttle service at Lano Lanes and Heritage Pointe. “I feel like we’ve had really excellent community support so it would be great to see the community at the event.”
Already residents and staff at Peace Villa are looking forward to the ceremony. “Everyone is excited,” said Schmitz. “We’ve keep them on the page. As we went through the process I’ve kept the residents updated on how far we’ve come.” Once built the facility will house 37 units, with 25 units of assisted living and 12 units of memory care. Connected to Peace Villa, which was built in 1978 and has 61 apartments that currently house 110 seniors, and The Harbor, which was constructed in 2006, it will enhance the community.
“It’s very good to be here but there’s a lot of things that we signed our name to that we need to comply with,” said Schmitz. “We’ll be staying on top of that too.” The $6.9 million project is funded with USDA Rural Development Loans acquired through the city which will be paid back with proceeds from The Haven. The city has worked hand-in-hand with Peace Villa in the project with the city providing assistance, both financially which will be paid back, and planning, since City Administrator Steve Helget and former City Administrator Tom Simmons are among those on the development team.
Other development team members include Curt Wilson, Perry Forst, Laurie Hilgers and Schmitz. “They’ve been with the project the whole time,” said Schmitz, also crediting the nine-member Peace Villa Board of Directors and the 12-member Senior Advisory Committee. “They are all going to help that day and they are all going to help serve the meal,” said Schmitz. The groundbreaking will be on Tuesday, March 31 and will open with a blessing ceremony at 11 a.m. with opening greeting by Curt Wilson as well as invocation by Pastor David Winter, Blessing of the Soil by Pastor Eric Zacharias and Dedication Prayer by Pastor Dale Inman.
“The clergy are the people who are already serving at the Harbor and we’d like to include all of the local churches,” she said. Harbor Handbells members will also perform, with a benediction by Father Abbot, closing comments by Perry Forst, Amazing Grace by Laura Forst and a meal blessing by Pastor Don Andrix. Also there that day will be representatives from Pope Architects and contract manager Donlar Construction.
A community lunch of hot dogs, chips and cake is expected to begin serving at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. with music by Dick Stolz through the afternoon. Once construction begins, it is expected to be completed by next spring.
Already a waiting list has been created for the Haven, and names are being taken for that. “I think the success of our current campus will help fill the new building,” said Schmitz.