By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
GOLDEN, Ill. -- From a window of his home just up the street, Kenny Miller keeps watch over a construction project at Golden Good Shepherd Home.
So do the home's residents, who enjoy sitting outside to monitor the work in progress.
The four-room addition, plus a beauty shop and a spa, is a first for the home.
Although an activity room and new entrance have been added in the past, the roughly $300,000 project is the first resident room addition in the home's 50-year history.
"We just need more room," Miller, who heads the home's board, said.
The 42-bed home generally stays full and has a waiting list, making it difficult to serve people who counted on making Good Shepherd their home.
"Our facility was built by the Golden community, and on occasion we weren't able to take some of our community members who had been active on our board or involved over time," Administrator Amanda Marlow said. "We also weren't able to take in new residents as often or those on Medicare to do rehab and generate that extra revenue."
Adding four beds was the "least complicated way" to expand without needing to meet additional state requirements, Marlow said.
Beyond the rooms, the project offers other amenities for residents.
"We need to update our beauty shop. It's kind of stuck in the corner and not very large," Marlow said. "Our spa will have a new whirlpool tub, showers. It will just be something a little bit nicer, more luxurious."
Construction began in early April on the southwest corner of the home and should wrap up in the next 30 to 60 days. The addition can open after state approval of the finished project.
"It's coming along pretty well," Miller said.
Schlipman Construction of Quincy is the general contractor for the project.
Miller said the home is borrowing money for the first time to cover over half the project cost, with savings and donations covering the rest, to avoid depleting its reserves.
"You never know when the state will quit paying, and you need to have cash on hand," Miller said. "They've been doing pretty good lately, but they've been as much as six or seven months behind which makes it tough. You have to pay the bills, yet you don't have money coming in to pay it."
The four churches in Golden worked together to start the home, built by a lot of volunteer labor, and "it's served the community well," Miller said. "It's been a blessing to have something close to home."
The home serves private pay along with Public Aid/Medicaid residents and is Medicare-certified.
Marlow hopes the home will continue to grow to meet the needs of the community.
"I'd like to see us expand with another activity area, possibly a chapel area," she said. "We have a board of directors very committed to making good decisions for the home and residents."