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Assisted living facility still on pace to open in spring

An assisted living facility that is under construction in Ironton is close to being finished.

Close to Home III, a facility that will potentially house about 45 residents, is being constructed at the rehabilitated site of the St. Lawrence O’Toole Community Center.

Ground was broken at the historic site in July 2009. H.A. Dorsten, Inc. is renovating the facility.

So far the roof has been replaced, walls have been constructed on the inside and a new 10,000 square foot addition has been added.

“The slow stuff is beginning to start,” co-owner Sharon Hartwig said.

Drywall, plumbing and brickwork still need to be completed. The time it takes to complete and open the facility will depend on the weather and how long it takes for the drywall to dry.

The opening is scheduled for mid- to late spring.

The facility will have 35 rooms that will each have a living room area, bathroom and closet. There will be rooms for about 10 couples as well.

In addition to the rooms, the facility will also feature a commercial kitchen, movie theatre, library and spa room.

The movie theatre is on the second floor and will feature antique movie posters on the walls, a sound system and a movie screen.

“It’ll be a theatre for them with reclining chairs and the whole nine yards,” Hartwig said.

The spa room will feature a $10,000 whirlpool tub with safety features as well as a flat screen television.

The facility will also have a beauty shop, chapel and library.

The chapel will have some pews from Saint Joseph Church and a stained glass window from the original building.

The building will also have chandeliers that originally hung in the Marting Hotel. The chandeliers were donated by the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

“They look like big daisies coming out of bouquet, they are so neat,” Hartwig said.

The nurses’ stations in the building will be hidden from sight. Hartwig said this will give residents the illusion of living in a studio apartment, rather than a healthcare facility.

“We don’t want it to look like a healthcare facility,” she said.

Though the building is not complete, there are already commitments for half of the facility.

Many of the people who will be moving in are from Ironton and are currently living further north because there was nowhere in Ironton to accommodate them, Hartwig said.

“We weren’t able to meet their needs in Ironton and they want to come back home,” she said.

Co-owner Charles Kunkel commended the City of Ironton for its cooperation in the development of the facility.

“Our experience with building in the City of Ironton has been wonderful,” Kunkel said. “All the officials there have bent over backwards to help us.”

If city officials were this friendly everywhere, “there would be a lot more businesses in this state,” he said. “And our experience with the Catholic church has been great.”