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A retirement community in Rock Island will soon start $12.5 million in improvements to meet the changing needs of today’s retirees. That’s the word from Friendship Manor leaders who on Thursday, Nov. 30, announced many details of the renovation plan that will focus on 20 different projects over the next couple of years. Construction work on some of those projects is scheduled to begin in January at the retirement community, located at 1209 21st Ave. Some of the improvements included in the capital campaign will be the redesigning of the independent living area of Friendship Manor; updates throughout the assisted living area; two dedicated end-of-life suites and an upgrade to the dining area. Friendship Manor first announced the renovations in September. “There’s not another senior care or retirement living provider with more longevity or experience in our market,” Ted Pappas Jr., president and CEO of Friendship Manor, said during a news conference held in the Friendship Manor chapel. “Now, we are looking toward the future, and are very excited to announce our plans to re-establish Friendship Manor. The result will be beautiful and modern, all with the expertise and skill that comes from 82 years of service.” The renovations are the result of the largest capital campaign ever at Friendship Manor – called “Re-establishing Friendship 2024.” Much of the finances for the $12.5 million campaign have been taken care of, Friendship Manor representatives said. The biggest share of the expenses is being taken care of by a $10.5 million bond. In addition, Friendship officials have received $1.55 million in gifts or commitments to help pay for the remaining $2 million that is needed. “We just need the community to help push us down the hill to the finish line,” said Jeff Condit, development director at Friendship Manor. He added: “We’re not asking the community to support us because of what we’ve done in the past. We’re asking the community to support us now because there’s still so much to do. Our founders were called to serve, and we still feel that calling.” For more information on donating to Friendship Manor’s capital campaign, visit here. The development director said he also hopes the community will help support the renovation project because Friendship Manor has been a friend to the community in many ways. “What most people don’t know is that we provide millions of dollars of charitable care to seniors who’ve outlived their resources. This is because we're a nonprofit, meaning we don’t have an owner or stockholder profit margins to satisfy. If we can remain full, we can provide a lot of charitable care,” he added. Mr. Pappas said the upcoming projects will not include the construction of additional space to the Friendship Manor. Instead, the project will focus on renovating and repurposing the existing space, with much effort being placed on making changes and updates to the independent living portion of the facility. That residential section will be rebranded as “The Terraces at Friendship Manor” and will be redesigned and remodeled. “The result will be beautiful and modern. … We fully expect these apartments to be spoken for quickly, so we encourage interested seniors to inquire soon,” said Heather Stancliff, the retirement community’s director of sales and marketing. Ms. Stancliff added: “We are adding a dining room, pub, activity space, fitness center and deck and gas fireplace” to the apartments. Here are some of the other planned updates:
- A new, state-of-the-art therapy and fitness center with walking track.
- Opening of The Chrysalis Suites at Silver Cross – two dedicated end-of-life suites for the comfort of residents and their families.
- Expanding and updating the dining options at the 1209 Bistro.
- Improvements to Silver Cross skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, including an expanded dining room, new spa room and new hard surface flooring.
- New outdoor walking path with a gazebo.
- Infrastructure improvements, including deck repairs, new water heaters, replacement windows, updates to HVAC, new chiller and backup generator power and more.