December 22nd, 2010

Great River Medical Center’s Board of Directors has approved construction of a new long-term-care center on the hospital’s West Burlington campus. It will replace the existing Klein Center at 2910 Madison Ave., Burlington.

The new center will be built along the lake on the south side of the campus between the main parking lot and Great River Hospice House. Although it will be home to nearly 160 people, living spaces will be divided into about 10 “neighborhoods,” each with a kitchen, community space and private bedrooms.

There also will be a 16- to 32-bed neighborhood for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“This is the right time to build our new Klein Center,” said hospital President and CEO Mark Richardson. “Construction costs will only continue to rise, and the first of the Baby Boomers are turning 65 now. As the need for long-term care increases, we’ll be ready with the type of services people want and expect.”

The existing facility is nearly 50 years old and would require major renovations. Planning for the new center began a few years ago, but was delayed when the economic downturn began. Final plans will be completed in the next six months, and groundbreaking is expected in the latter half of 2011. The construction time will be about 18 months.

“We are very excited about the new building,” said Klein Center Administrator Ann Abolt. “It will allow us to improve the household model we have already started. Elders make decisions about how they live, such as when they get up and go to bed, what they eat and what they do during the day. Our goal is to make their lives in this new building as homelike as possible for those who no longer can live in their homes.”

Named after its benefactor, F. Albert Klein, the Klein Center opened as a rehabilitation hospital in 1963. Twelve years later, it became a long-term care center operated by Great River Medical Center. The new facility also will be called the Klein Center in recognition if its history and ongoing contributions from the Klein Trust.

Great River Medical Center is committed to helping find a new use for the existing building.

“Although the building is owned by the Klein Trust, we are very interested in working with trust representatives to develop a reuse plan for the building that will benefit the community,” Richardson said. “The Klein Center has been a key service of Great River Medical Center, and we are looking forward to exceeding the community’s expectations when the new center is completed.”

View the proposed layout: CLICK HERE