Methodist Village Senior Living picks up two donations

by Aric Mitchell ([email protected]) 706 views 

Methodist Village Senior Living (MVSL) has received a total of $50,000 in new financial contributions for its expansion. The two awards announced on Monday (Aug. 27) were for $25,000 each from the Arvest Foundation and First National Bank of Fort Smith. The Arvest award will be used for security in the new Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit while FNB’s will go toward “general use in the development,” the organization stated in a press release.

“We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to support Methodist Village’s capital improvement needs with a new security system at their facility,” said Arvest Bank President Rodney Shepard. “This donation is just one of many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to organizations in our community that are making a difference.”

FNB President Sam T. Sicard said the bank was “excited to make this contribution toward this important community project,” adding that Methodist Village “has a rich history of senior living and ensuring quality care for their residents and patients and we are pleased that our local community bank could support this worthy cause.”

The MVSL expansion will include a 28-bed assisted living center and a 17-bed Alzheimer’s special care unit. The development is expected to be completed in early 2019. The organization employs over 160 and has 200 volunteers. Construction began in early 2018 with a February permit for $6.162 million.

At an April event, Methodist Village reported it had raised $2.8 million toward a $4 million funding target for phase one of a planned $55 million life plan community expansion in Fort Smith at its Euper Lane campus. The fundraising is now in its public portion with a goal of raising the additional $1.2 million, which will activate an $800,000 “challenge grant.” The organization plans to get there by October. Phase one of three is expected to cost a total of $9 million with the facility being a total of 44,000 square feet upon completion.

On Monday, Methodist Village Board President Phillip Bryant said support from the community has been “an important part of this project, and we are grateful for these contributions.”

“With this new facility, we are confident that Methodist will continue to raise the bar when it comes to an enhanced continuum of care,” Bryant said.

Phases two and three of the expansion will address improvements to the Care Center for nursing home and rehabilitation services and independent living residences for retirees.

Construction of Methodist Nursing Home began in 1960 with the first resident arriving on March 19, 1961. In 1975, “The Village” – independent living retirement apartments – were added to the 27-acre site. About 80% of residents are female and more than 50% are considered “low income” by federal guidelines.

Starting in 1974, the site began a 40-year mortgage with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agreement concluded in 2014, enabling Methodist Village to push through with the Life Plan Community concept. Fundraising efforts are ongoing, but it has received a $1 million challenge gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Miller Family Foundation contingent on $2 million of independent fundraising.

The site provides skilled nursing services, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapies to assist with recovering from surgery, an illness, or in the treatment of complex medical conditions.

Methodist Village officials told Talk Business & Politics in a previous interview the expansion of services will result in the full-time equivalent of 27 new jobs and an additional $1 million in payroll (combined salary and benefits) to the Fort Smith region, an average of about $37,000 per employee. That is a projection that looks out to 2020, which will be the facility’s first year of stabilization. It does not count the construction jobs that will be created during buildout stages.

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