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Beacon Hill celebrates 30th with $15M expansion

$15M expansion project starts at Beacon Hill

Published: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 11:40 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 6:34 a.m. CDT
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(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Adelheide "Bunny" Werner, an original resident at Beacon Hill, attends the groundbreaking Wednesday for the senior community's $15 million expansion. Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Beacon Hill residents including Dick Stanley gather for the ground breaking for the addition to the building in celebration of their 30th anniversary Wednesday August 13 2014.
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Beacon Hill residents, including Grace Hettema (left) and Chick Eissler, gather for the ground breaking for the addition to the building in celebration of their 30th anniversary Wednesday August 13 2014.
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Executive Director of Beacon Hill Blaire Goldstein coordinates the ground breaking for the addition to the building in celebration of their 30th anniversary Wednesday August 13 2014.
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Beacon Hill staff, village officials and construction staff gather for the ground breaking for the addition to the building in celebration of their 30th anniversary Wednesday August 13 2014.

LOMBARD – A theatre, dining venues and auditorium are among the new amenities coming to Beacon Hill Senior Living Community Center in Lombard.

The attractions are part of a $15 million, 28,000-square-foot expansion project. Construction will start in early fall and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2016.

“It’s a legacy. This expansion will be here not only for us to enjoy but for future generations at Beacon Hill,” resident Candy Bishop said. “It’ll enhance our lifestyle.”

Bishop, 69, has lived at Beacon Hill for four years. She said everyone who lives at the senior center is excited for the expansion.

A groundbreaking ceremony was Wednesday at the senior center at 2400 S. Finley Road.

Lombard Village President Keith Giagnorio, who attended the ceremony, said the expansion also is a safety improvement because it boosts the ability for emergency crews to maneuver better at Beacon Hill.

“This is terrific for Lombard,” Giagnorio said. “I always keep telling them, ‘Let’s keep moving and growing,’ and this is another part of it.”

Lynn Siler, the 30-year resident services director at Beacon Hill, said this expansion will provide more space to run programs. Siler said she was working at the center when it underwent an expansion in 1988 or 1989, adding 100 more apartments for independent living.

“I’ve seen the growth from expansion here prior to this one and it’s done wonders for the community,” Siler said.

Siler said the expansion will keep seniors active with learning labs, exercise rooms, more space for Wii classes and educational programs.

“There’s a lot of opportunities coming down the pipe,” she said. “In the end it’s going to be so worth it.”

Blaire Goldstein, executive director for Beacon Hill, said the center will take out a debt to pay off the cost of the project. She added a group of 30 to 35 residents at the center were involved in the pre-planning process for the expansion.

“We held meetings for the legacy planning that allowed them to tell us the things they’d like to see on our campus,” Goldstein said. “Through their feedback, we developed the architectural design.”

Planning for the expansion started in spring 2012, said Goldstein, who added Lombard’s Village Board approved the project May 1.

Beacon Hill houses nearly 500 people, with 110 nursing home beds on campus and 400 seniors residing in independent living. The center also employees 240 full-time employees. The expansion will include a new kitchen and additional storage and will likely create new jobs.

The groundbreaking coincides with Beacon Hill’s 30th anniversary, which residents celebrated this week with a picnic, talent show, anniversary dinner and gala event.

“I think it means we’re stable just like a home environment,” Siler said. “It shows we lasted 30 years and are moving on to the future.”

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