• 59°

Close to Home expanding assisted-living care

For Sharon Hartwig, co-owner of Close to Home, work on her latest assisted-living facility will meet a growing need in Lawrence County.

The 42-bed Close to Home III facility on Center and South Sixth streets is at full capacity.

When it opened in Ironton in the fall of 2010, the rooms were filled in less than three months.

At a cost of $3.2 million, the center was the city’s first assisted-living facility, and now, work is underway on another.

Hartwig said the company was recently awarded a $1.3 million loan from the group Finance Fund, the same nonprofit that provided the backing for the Center Street facility.

“We were so blessed to get quick financing,” Hartwig said.

That money will be used to rehab the former Close to Home I adult group home on Vernon and South Fifth streets into a 23-bed assisted-living facility. The center previously provided homes for 16 adults, ages 18 through 60.

The facility was closed in July for work on the new center to begin. Hartwig said residents either transitioned to Close to Home III or Close to Home II, located in Middletown, or chose other options.

“It was hard to close this building,” Hartwig said. The group home was opened 15 years ago in the turn-of-the-century home, Hartwig’s first adult care facility.

The rehab and renovations will add more than 5,000 square feet to the building for a total of about 10,000 square feet.

Like Close to Home III, the facility will offer 24-hour nursing care for residents and the same amenities that make residents feel at home. Hartwig said there will be a beauty shop, patio area, living spaces, a commercial kitchen, spa area and private bathrooms in each of the 23 bedrooms.

The building has been gutted and the foundation for the new addition of the building is expected to be laid soon.

Hartwig said the new facility will meet a need of the community for more beds for seniors seeking assisted-living.

“We just can’t get them in quick enough,” she said. “Ironton has a need for 50, close to 60, beds.”

Hartwig said work on the facility should be finished in January or February of next year with licensing approval to follow in March.

People interested in living in the new facility can call (740) 534-1100 for more information.