ROCHELLE — Developers planning to bring a deluxe skilled nursing and rehabilitation care center in Rochelle received approval from the state on Monday to build their proposed facility.
On Jan. 8, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 5-0 in favor of the development that would be operating as Liberty Village of Rochelle.
Developer Don Fike, of RFMS, Inc., confirmed the news and is excited about bringing a facility to the “Hub City.”
“I would like to thank the local community and the many people that stepped forward to talk about the need for the project,” Fike said Tuesday, expressing appreciation for the community’s support. “The people that supported us were great.”
The estimated $17.6 million 64,000 square-foot facility is slated to be built on a 13.67 campus off of Flagg Road, just south of Lincoln School and north of San Gabriel.
The 92-bed facility will include a main building, “Manor Court,” which comprises a single story structure with a main street commons area. Resident rooms will branch into three or four “neighborhoods” connected to the central core.
The second component, “Garden Courts,” will be a secured specialized memory care nursing facility for residents with Alzheimer’s and related memory disorders.
Fike said construction could begin as early as mid spring, depending on the weather. He also said the plans will need to be finalized for state approval before going out for bidding.
The estimated opening date for the facility is sometime in the fall of 2019.
Local real estate broker Tim Hayden, who has been helping develop the project, reiterated Liberty Village’s long-standing quality reputation.
“Liberty Village is a proven operator with a track record in other communities for their full range of services for seniors ranging from independent housing, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care,” Hayden said. “This is wonderful news for our community… residents won’t have to leave the community for those wide range of services.”
Developers first announced their plans last summer, filing an application for the project in August. After the plans were released a request for a hearing was filed by a DeKalb rehabilitation facility, objecting to the proposal based on a number of reasons including the shortage of available staff, as well as questioning the need for more beds.
At the hearing in October, nearly 100 people filled Spring Lake Marina to voice their opinion to the project, with the majority in support of bringing the facility here.
Documents released on the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board website stated 65 people registered their support or provided supportive testimony and 24 registered their opposition or provided opposing testimony.
Following the hearing, the state board staff received six letters of support and one letter of opposition to the project. The record also stated the board collected “31 letters of support from residents of Rochelle or citizens with family connections to Rochelle.”
Connie Dougherty, executive director for Hub City Senior Center, has seen firsthand the difficulties some of the area seniors and their families have experienced. Dougherty said many residents have had to travel up to 30 miles to get the services they require.
“I am so excited that Liberty Village will be building a new facility in Rochelle. Finally we will be able to keep our loved ones who have Alzheimer’s/dementia, or are in need of long-term care or rehabilitation close to home,” Dougherty said. “I have witnessed time and again how hard it is when our elderly who are unable to care for themselves, even temporarily, have to leave our community to receive the care they require. Many times it has been heartbreaking. It’s also very difficult for their family and friends to be able to visit them. Having Liberty Village as a viable option will improve the quality of life for all Rochelle residents.”