Mishawaka, IN (PRWEB) February 06, 2013
Although it's now just a steel skeleton rising from the mid-winter Michiana snows, in the architect’s renderings, it looks as if it could have grown organically from the river banks – two buildings made of stone, wood and glass connected by a central entry structure. Together, they rise from the green space located along the northern banks of the St. Joseph River, nestled between Cedar Street on the east and Mishawaka’s picturesque Central Park on the west. When the building project is completed in the summer of 2013, they will comprise the first phase of Center for Hospice Care's new Mishawaka campus.
“When I first saw the site, I was immediately drawn to the extraordinary beauty of the St. Joseph River waterfront,” says Jeff Helman, president of HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture, a firm that specializes in designing high-end water front homes. “To be privileged to have a natural amenity such as the river as our primary view contributed to the transparency of the building, allowing us to incorporate views from all spaces, and to include features such as exterior balcony’s and plazas. The classic contemporary style of the building is intended to blend with the drama of the river, the adjacent neighborhood, and the park environment to form a place that is both progressive and hopeful for the future, as well as peaceful and serene at the same time.”
The western building, which will be located immediately adjacent to Central Park, will become new home to Center for Hospice Care’s Life Transition Center (LTC), its art counseling program and bereavement counseling staff. The current LTC has been located in leased office space in Mishawaka’s Cambridge Center Office Park since 2005. The first floor of the new building also includes a large conference area that can seat up to 165 people and divided into three smaller, private rooms accommodating any one of a number of different uses, ranging from staff or board meetings to group counseling sessions and community education seminars. The Hospice Foundation offices will be located on the second floor of the building.
An open staircase to the second floor walkway connects this building, the main entry area and the eastern building which will house the administrative, information technology, human resources, accounting, billing, marketing and community relations departments. The first floor of that structure will also include an employee fitness center and an open plan café-style gathering space, great for informal staff interactions, lunch breaks and special events.
CHC’s growth has been steady and continuous over the past 10 years, with staff size increasing during that time from approximately 100 to a current census of 215 employees. As the organization has grown, so too have its need for office space. “We’ve been adding a few thousand additional square feet of office space every few years to the point that we are now leasing as much space in St. Joseph County as we own,” said Karl Holderman, chief financial officer. “If you do the math, it doesn’t take one long to conclude that owning makes a lot more sense for us than continuing to add more leased facilities.”
In addition to the new construction, renovations will take place in two additional campus structures. A residential home will be remodeled for use as a guest house and the former Edgewater Florist will be transformed into a new Palliative Care Center. The structures, located immediately across the street from one another at the corner of Cedar and Madison Streets, were acquired in mid-2011 as part of what has now become a nearly 5-acre campus development.
The overall campus master plan, which includes the future addition of a medical office building and new hospice house, is being closely coordinated with officials at the City of Mishawaka as they develop plans for improvements to the surrounding areas. The public side of the planned development include enhancements to Central Park. These include construction of a new access road, additional parking and new playground equipment, as well as an extension of the city’s scenic river walk.
Established in 1978, Center for Hospice Care is an independent, community-based, not-for-profit organization, improving the quality of living through hospice, home health, grief counseling and community education. With offices in South Bend, Plymouth, Elkhart and Mishawaka, Center for Hospice Care serves Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph and Starke counties in Indiana.