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Hope Meadows officials are hoping to have the “shell” of their new Hope House in Rantoul completed in time for people attending a National Conference on Aging in Champaign to view it next month.
Nicole Thompson, project manager, said the conference is scheduled for Nov. 11.
“We’d like to showcase the project for (the conference),” Thompson said.
Ground was broken on Hope House last week. Harmon Excavating is in charge of the foundation work.
Hope House is a state-of-the-art building being constructed on Fairway Drive in Hope Meadows. Target date for completion is February.
A unique aspect of the building is its design to accommodate older residents. Using the universal design approach, for instance, the units will have no steps and electrical outlets placed higher on the wall to accommodate older residents.
Thompson said Jeffrey Rosenfeld, one of the project designers, will make the trip from Hofstra University to attend the conference. She said he has undertaken studies on how seniors live and what designs they like around them.
“We’re bringing him for input for color and material selections,” Thompson said.
She said the seniors who will live at Hope House will be able to select their own color groups in which to decorate their apartments.
As a whole, Hope Meadows residents “are very excited” about the project, “as you can tell from the turnout for the groundbreaking.”
Nearly 50 people of various ages attended the ceremony.
The project is being paid for with two $500,000 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grants spearheaded by State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) and former State Rep. Bill Black of Danville.
Hope Meadows is a neighborhood where neglected and abused children who have been removed from their parents for their safety find adoptive parents and a permanent home. Also present are honorary grandparents — senior citizens who volunteer their time to help with the youngsters.
Hope House will include five apartments, one of which will be a small apartment for a caregiver. It will house senior citizens of advanced years.
“As the people get increasingly frail, we want them to remain at the heart of the community,” said David Hopping, executive managing director of Generations of Hope Development Corp., which operates Hope Meadows. “The apartments are not only accommodation for now but for end-of-life (scenarios).”