Last portion of historic Holland middle school campus renovated as state-of-the-art day center

The multi-million dollar renovation of an entire city block near downtown Holland culminates this Friday with the opening of the Day Center of Evergreen in the historic E. E. Fell Middle School (55 W. 16th St.).

The Day Center of Evergreen, part of The Commons of Evergreen, cares for senior citizens who require daytime care and social activities, especially those suffering from stroke, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease. The $1.5m renovation of the former girls' gymnasium of the middle school is the culmination of in-depth research on facility design specifically for persons with cognitive disabilities.

"It's pretty normal for people with Alzheimer's and dementia to want to leave, so this is designed with none of the windows looking back at the entrance," says Evergreen CEO Dave Knibbe. "The color palette is in calming earth tones and variations of a color so they can visibly find the restrooms and move from room to room. It feels residential, warm, and safe."

The 12,000 square feet is twice the capacity the day center had at its former location, 480 State St., and is the last building on the block bounded by W. 15th St. (north), S. River Avenue (east), W. 16th St. (south), and Pine Avenue (west) to undergo renovation.

Last October, Dwelling Place built 30 senior living apartments inside the former middle school, a $15m project. Prior to that, Jubilee Ministries renovated a former high school on the property into commercial space for nonprofits.
The new day center offers clients a great room with two fireplaces, an art room, music room, a kitchen where they can re-learn cooking skills, a gymnasium with exercise equipment, a game room, and more. The facility also features specialized bathing facilities, foot and hair care areas, laundry facilities, and meals.

A public open house is planned for Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

Source: Dave Knibbe, The Commons of Evergreen
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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