ELLICOTT - A first-of-its-kind in the county assisted-living facility has officially opened.
On Friday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new Orchard Grove Residences, which is the newest asset to Heritage Ministries senior living community. The assisted-living facility development, which is located at 2000 Southwestern Drive, West Ellicott, consists of three buildings. Each facility will house 12 residents. Each facility will have a private room and bath for each resident while providing a common dining and living room area. The houses will also have a beauty salon, physical therapy room and an outside courtyard. Certified aides will provide care, as well as cook, clean and promote activities, including resident involvement in typical household chores.
David Smeltzer, Heritage Ministries executive director, said Orchard Grove Residences is part of the The Woodlands project, which costs $8 million. As part of The Woodlands project, there is also a second phase that will be independent-living housing. This section of the development will be much like the facility Heritage Ministries has in Gerry. Smeltzer said the second phase is almost completed, as well.
Town, county, state and federal officials join Heritage Ministries personnel during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Orchard Grove Residences Friday. The assisted-living facility is the newest asset to Heritage Ministries senior living community.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
The project, Smeltzer said, was possible because of a $5 million grant Heritage Ministries received from the state Health Department, as part of the HEAL NY program. In exchange for the grant money, Heritage Ministries will be moving 20 Medicaid program beds from its other facilities to the new development. Because it will be cheaper to take care of residents at the new facility, Smeltzer said it will lead to a $750,000 a year savings in taxpayer money. He said the project's conception first started in 2007.
''It took five long years to reach an outcome, but we are very pleased,'' he said. ''We could not be more excited to bring this project to Chautauqua County.''
Smeltzer said people are already living in some of the rooms at the new assisted-living facility.
''The residents just love them,'' he said.
During the ceremony, several elected officials spoke about the new facility and its importance to Chautauqua County residents. Andy Goodell, R-C-I Chautauqua County, said the one-of-a-kind facility is a better alternative for some residents than other senior living communities.
''It provides a much friendlier way of living at a fraction of the costs,'' he said.
State Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, said during the Christmas holiday it is great to give those living at the Orchard Grove Residences a sense of home.
''It is apparent immediately the home-like atmosphere you have here,'' she said. ''This is truly a gift for the community.''
County Executive Greg Edwards said he is pleased with the work Heritage Ministries does as a representative for county residents and on a personal level because he has had family benefit from the services provided by the nonprofit organization.
''Heritage is one of our best employers,'' he said. ''I would like to congratulate Heritage Ministries ... this is beautiful.''
Cecil Miller, Ellicott supervisor, said the new facility is an example of senior living that will be duplicated.
''This is a model of living that will be used all over the state and the country,'' he said.
Companies that worked on the project included EE Austin & Sons of Falconer, who were the contractors; Inscale Architects of Warren, Pa.; BCS of Falconer, who did the energy and control systems work; Artone Manufacturing of Jamestown, who worked on the furniture; and Fancher Chair Manufactures, who provided the chairs.
For more information on The Woodlands development, visit Heritage Ministries website at www.heritage1886.org.
Heritage Ministries is a not-for-profit organization that manages and operates human service ministries in Chautauqua County. Headquartered in Jamestown, Heritage Ministries directly serves more than 600 residents and children on a daily basis.