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USDA Aids Construction, Refurbishes Apartments for Elderly Wisconsin Residents

Posted by Kevin Tuttle, USDA Rural Development, Wisconsin State Office in Rural
Feb 21, 2017
Construction is underway with a goal to substantially upgrade senior housing in three communities in rural Wisconsin.  Funding support is provided in part through the USDA Community Facilities Program.
Construction is underway with a goal to substantially upgrade senior housing in three communities in rural Wisconsin. Funding support is provided in part through the USDA Community Facilities Program.

For residents of three senior care centers in western Wisconsin, the time has come to say “good-bye” to shared living spaces, shared bathrooms and double corridors; and say “hello” to private rooms, large, private bathrooms, and neighborhood designs.  Through new construction, Baldwin Care Center, Glenhaven, and Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center are providing more of the comforts of home in a statewide push to modernize senior living.  Funding for all three projects comes from USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program, and AgStar Financial Services.

“AgStar is proud to partner with USDA Rural Development in funding senior care projects in Baldwin, Colfax and Glenwood City.  Expanding and updating these facilities allows staff to continue providing exceptional resident care for seniors, which is crucial for aging rural communities,” said Bob Madsen, AgStar Associate Vice President – Rural Capital Network. “AgStar is very thankful for USDA’s support of rural communities and for the public/private partnership created by the Essential Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan program.”

Baldwin Care Center’s new facility is approximately halfway to completion, with a grand opening scheduled for this summer.  Moving from a facility that features mostly double-occupancy rooms to one that has 50 beds, all in private rooms except for two reserved for couples, will offer a better quality of life for its tenants.  The current facility will also be remodeled into a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF) with a memory care unit. A CBRF is a place where five or more unrelated people live together in a community setting.  Services provided include room and board, supervision, support services, and may include up to three hours of nursing care per week.

“I think the thing that the residents are looking forward to most would be the privacy afforded by the private rooms,” said Eileen LaFavor, Baldwin Care Center Administrator. “I believe what they are going to enjoy most when they move in, is the sense of home. Their new home will truly look and feel like ‘home’ with their private suite, and the comfortable living and dining areas to spend time with family and friends, in addition to the accessible outdoor courtyard areas.”

The new center, funded by a USDA direct loan and a guaranteed loan, features three internal courtyards so residents can see outside, and also be monitored by staff while outdoors.

Seventeen miles northeast of Baldwin, Glenhaven has its own designs in place that will bring its residents greater privacy and comfort.  Their new 50,000-square-feet addition will feature 44 new beds, inpatient and outpatient therapies, a café with an ala carte menu, refreshment area, and media center amongst its amenities.  15 more jobs will be added to its current staff of 90 employees.

“Rural Development and AgStar are the only way we can do this,” said David Prissel, Glenhaven Administrator.  “The two working together have been seamless.  The paperwork only took four months rather than the nine months normally projected.”

A half hour east of Glenwood City, Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center is undergoing construction on their new facility, opening in August 2013.  Their existing facility is outdated and needs several updates to get up to code, including a sprinkler system.  However, with the age of the building and the desire to want to offer more for their residents, Administrator, Jill Gengler, said a new facility made the most sense.

“Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center has completed extensive financial and market analysis related to the feasibility of this project,” Gengler said.  “The Board of Directors is committed to improving and expanding health care services to the seniors of this community in a fiscally responsible manner and in 2009 the organization was awarded a property incentive from the State of Wisconsin to aid in the development and construction of this proposed project.  This incentive, along with a loan from USDA Rural Development, makes a project of this scope possible for an organization and community of our size.  Without these partnerships, our efforts would have been greatly limited.  We are grateful to have been considered for both of these programs.”

The new facility will be licensed for 70 patients – 40 from the current facility and 30 assisted living residents.  It will feature a strong dementia care program, have private baths and rooms, as well as several family gathering places.

Although several more projects are in the works, these examples show that AgStar Financial Services and USDA Rural Development are providing rural communities long-term quality-of-life improvements.  For more information on the Community Facilities Program, visit

Category/Topic: Rural

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Debra C
Mar 22, 2013

Wisconsin ? Really ?? How about someone nice and warm - during the winter months ??