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May 1, 2004
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It Takes a Village The Sweet Life at Rosehill Shawnee, Kansas by Robert Volzer, CID, IIDA
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The Sweet Life at Rosehill
SHAWNEE, KANSAS

PROJECT SUMMARY
Type of Facility/Setting: Upscale skilled nursing with dementia care
Owner: Allen Park, Inc., Olathe, Kansas, (913) 831-1285
Chief Administrator: Kim Ellis, Executive Director, (913) 962-7600
Design/Build, Construction Management: Rounbehler Construction, Inc., Olathe, Kansas, (913) 764-8376
Architectural Consultant: Ron Reid Associates, PC, Architects, Kansas City, Missouri, (816) 531-5511
Interior Design Consultant: Stephens Design-Build, Inc., Parkville, Missouri, (816) 880-0730
Photography: ¬2003 Dave Kaup Photography
Resident Capacity: 60 beds (30 private SNF suites, 30 private Dementia Care suites)
Total Project Area (sq. ft.): 47,000
Total Construction Cost: $4,700,000 (excluding land and soft costs)
Cost/Sq. Ft.: $100


It takes a village
BY ROBERT VOLZER, CID, IIDA, VOLZER DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
It takes a village to nurture the residents of The Sweet Life at Rosehill, believes president and CEO Shirley Allenbrand, along with her co-owners Jeff Cleveland and Mark and Stacy Parkinson of Allen Park, Inc. "Working with families since 1995 to refine our formula for upscale skilled nursing and memory care around a protected 'village' theme," explains Allenbrand, "Rosehill offers amenities usually reserved for assisted living properties, such as all private suites, gourmet buffet dining, and an 'interactive village center,' complete with French Bistro, Salon, Boutique, Art Gallery, and Movie Theater."

While it may seem a stretch to expect high use of such features by the residents, Allenbrand credits these offerings with greatly boosting visitation by families who help residents take advantage of them while enjoying more meaningful activities themselves. "In fact," she says, "our staff sometimes are overwhelmed by the number of children in the building, but we appreciate how valuable they are in maintaining a normal rhythm of life for our families."

The building design includes a naturally lit "town center" area offering services and amenities within quaint "storefronts" complemented by murals, props, and other furnishings to complete the setting. With 60 well-appointed private suites, the plan includes two 30-bed wings flanking the town center-one skilled nursing, and one skilled nursing with dementia care. Each wing is divided into two 15-bed households. Individual rooms are 285 or 315 sq. ft., each having a bathroom with private bathing and generous closet space. Dining for each side includes buffet-style food service, complemented by a private dining room that may be reserved by families.

Village life here transcends the bricks and mortar to engage the community and incorporate a care philosophy that encourages independence, choice, and involvement in activities such as art programs with weekly workshops and both a premier and a children's art gallery that bring in rotating work, appreciation, and participation awards for all.

This dynamic owner team has provided leadership in the development of Kansas legislation regulating assisted living and nursing homes. They attribute the success of their project to a skilled and compassionate nursing staff, the absence of any similar innovation by other area providers, and the extent to which they welcome families to join residents in scheduled movie times, meals, and activities. DESIGN CENTER SPONSORED BY:
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