By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT – Look to the future. Never look back. Always move forward, Mother M. Mark Louise Anne, O. Carm., told a crowd during the May 12 ground blessing at the future site of Kahl Home for the Aged & Infirm. The superior general for the Carmelite Sisters traveled from her religious community’s headquarters in Germantown, N.Y., for the blessing.
Bishop Martin Amos blessed the construction site at 67th Street and Jersey Ridge Road in north Davenport. Work actually began in October on the $39 million project, but financing was not secured until more recently, said Rosalie Thomas, the Kahl Home’s administrator.
Phase I includes a 137,000-square-foot, three-story facility on 40 acres of land. All rooms will be private with total capacity of 135 residents, the same capacity as the current facility. A new convent for the Carmelite Sisters, a chapel, café and pub are included in the project.
The new facility will have six nursing units, each with its own dining room. “We’re making a neighborhood concept,” Thomas said, which allows people residing in each unit to become more familiar with each other. A small café will be available on the first floor for visiting family members to pick up a cold sandwich or ice cream. The pub will have wine and beer for residents. A partial basement will house the kitchen, human resources and employee entrance.
Among the reasons the Kahl Home’s board decided to build new is a federal requirement for all skilled nursing facilities to have fire sprinklers in place by August 2013. That would have been a major undertaking in the existing facility, Thomas said. Other needs include more electrical outlets, larger rooms and additional showers that the existing facility can’t accommodate. Limited parking at the existing facility’s landlocked Ninth Street location was another consideration.
“We’re looking ahead to when the baby boomers need assistance,” she added. The project’s second phase would provide assisted living and independent living options.
Building in Davenport was important because of the Kahl Home’s history here. The best option for open land with room to expand was in the northern part of the city – which is near major roadways, but far enough away to enjoy the quiet, Thomas said.
Of the $39 million total needed for the project, $5 million is expected from the campaign, $25 million has been secured from a bank and the remainder will come from Kahl Home investments. The ground blessing included a $5 million fundraising campaign kickoff.
“We are deeply grateful for the $1 million lead gift and for the gifts of those other early donors that have stepped forward,” said Thomas. “We believe others will respond generously in recognition of the commitment of the Carmelite Sisters and the high quality of care provided by the Kahl Home over the past 55 years.”
After the move to the new facility, the existing site will go up for sale.
Kahl Home history
The Kahl Home for the Aged & Infirm was established in 1954 and the first resident was welcomed in 1955. The Kahl mansion was donated for this purpose and served as the first home. As a waiting list grew a new facility was built in 1963 that increased capacity to 128 residents from 21. In 1986 an addition was built to the current facility bringing the total licensed bed capacity to 135.