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Although it won’t have a full-time staff distributing coffee and pastries, he said it will have space for residents to hang out when their family or friends come to visit.
Right now, that courtyard is open to the elements and has a gazebo, and Becker said the plans for renovations will keep some of that outdoor feel by keeping some green space between the wall of the new activity room and the existing structures and beautifying it with landscaping.
The areas of the nursing home where most of the residents live are shaped like two connected X’s, with the future courtyard and activity center in the middle. Hallways added to this space will allow the food carts to move from one end of the home to any of the four serving kitchens – also part of the planned renovation – and avoid the traffic of the resident hallways, Becker said.
The home is in the process of finishing up its application to the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board for approval before it can begin construction. Becker stretched out his thumb and index finger as far as they would go.
“It ends up being about 600 pages,” he said.
Although the county owns the nursing facility, it does not administer it. Instead, administration is done by Missouri-based Management Performance Associates. DeKalb County Administrator Gary Hanson said management of the home was turned over to the company about 20 years ago.
“Their job is to observe and keep it solvent,” he said. The more than 250 employees still are county employees, however. Before that, he said, the county was pouring about $1 million a year into the home, which now is self-sustaining.
“It’s been a real success story for the county,” Hanson said.
The County Board also appoints a board of directors for the facility.