Serving Seniors: On its 75th anniversary, Bethany Retirement Living launches several expansion projects
FARGO - Bethany Retirement Living broke ground this summer on a $20 million construction project expected to take over three years to complete at its Bethany on University campus. That is only one of the projects the company has planned in respon...
FARGO – Bethany Retirement Living broke ground this summer on a $20 million construction project expected to take over three years to complete at its Bethany on University campus.
That is only one of the projects the company has planned in response to the growing need for senior housing.
Earlier this year, a 38-bed skilled-care addition opened at Bethany on 42nd. Upon board approval, it will begin construction of a 58-unit apartment building in the northwest corner of that campus as well.
Bethany also recently acquired 12 acres of land along 56th Avenue South in Fargo. Grant Richardson, senior executive of development and community relations, said it will likely be five to 10 years before the organization considers building a third campus on the property.
In February, Bethany also partnered with Eventide in Moorhead, Minn., and Knute Nelson in Alexandria, Minn., to form Ethos Home Care, a nonprofit that provides home health services.
Bethany was originally located in a home near Island Park in 1939. Three years later, it moved operations to the Fargo Sanitarium building on Third Avenue South.
In 1960, a relationship was formed with what was then known as the American Lutheran Church and construction of the South University Drive location began. Bethany Towers I was completed in 1963, and the organization continued to add another building every five years or so until the campus was full.
Richardson said Bethany wanted to continue expansion, but was landlocked by the surrounding residential neighborhood.
So in 2008, Bethany broke ground on a second campus on 42nd Street at 30th Avenue South. The facility opened in 2010, and quickly became known as the “Cadillac of the community,” Richardson said.
The construction project at Bethany on University doesn’t only add units. It is also meant to upgrade that campus to compare with Bethany on 42nd.
The project will be done in phases to cause the least possible disruption to residents.
The first phase involves a three-story, 31,000-square-foot addition. The second and third floors will be resident floors. The second floor will house a transitional care unit for residents discharged from the hospital who only need care for up to 100 days.
The main floor will be home to an enhanced wellness therapy area, a redesigned reception area, a library and a theater. It will also feature a University Grille open to residents, families, staff and the general public.
Once the addition is complete, residents will be moved in order to allow for remodeling in other areas of the building.
“It’s been a great growth life for Bethany,” Richardson said. “We want to continue to look at the services we provide and the gaps in the system.”
Bethany serves 475 residents in various levels of care. Occupancy rates change daily, but the skilled-care beds are usually full and only a few assisted-living units remain open.
Because Bethany generally maintains a waiting list for rooms, Richardson advised families to plan for the future so their wishes can be met.
“Everything we do is about relationships, so customer service is really important to us,” Richardson said. “Fostering that kind of relationship has built Bethany’s relationship over the years as the facility of choice for a lot of people in the community and we’re really proud of that.”
What: Bethany Retirement Living
Locations: Bethany on University at 201 S. University Drive and Bethany on 42nd, at 4255 30th Ave. S., both Fargo.