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Assisted-living center proposed

December 04, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Another large assisted-living center is planned for the Hagerstown area - the fourth one to be announced in the past month, officials said Thursday.

Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Tressler Lutheran Services and Washington County Health System are planning to build an assisted-living and independent retirement community on Robinwood Drive next year, officials said.

The cost and design of the community have not been determined yet, said Terri Rodeheaver, Tressler's vice president of development for retirement and health care services. She said she did not know how many jobs the community would generate.

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Tressler officials want to start construction by May on roughly 29 acres across Robinwood Drive from the Robinwood Medical Center, Rodeheaver said.

The first phase would include 70 assisted-living units and could be open by May 1999, she said. Thirty more units could be added later. Price ranges have not been determined.

The first phase also would include a commons building, Rodeheaver said. That could house a wellness center, rehabilitative services, a cafe, activity space and a beauty parlor/barber shop, she said.

Targeted at senior citizens, assisted-living centers provide help with dressing, bathing, medication, grooming and housekeeping services.

A model cottage for the independent retirement community is expected to be available for tours by May 1999 as well, Rodeheaver said. The cottages would be presold before being built, she said.

The land off Robinwood Drive is owned by the health system, which consists of Washington County Hospital, the Washington County Hospital Endowment Fund and Antietam Health Services, a partner in the nearby Robinwood Medical Center, said hospital spokesman John Costopoulos.

Costopoulos said there were plans before Robinwood Medical Center was opened in 1991 to build an assisted-living center on the campus.

Teaming up with Tressler will allow the community to be built by experts in assisted-living and senior housing as well as experts in medical and health issues, he said.

Rodeheaver said she is aware of three other planned assisted-living centers in the Hagerstown area.

"There's a significant market need that's been demonstrated in the area," she said.

Tressler has a waiting list at its other Hagerstown facility, Ravenwood Lutheran Village at 1183 Luther Drive, she said.

That community has an 86-bed comprehensive care nursing home center with a 40-unit assisted-living center, said William Swanger III, Tressler's spokesman.

Other Hagerstown area assisted-living centers in the works include:

* Balanced Care Corp. is planning to build Outlook Pointe at Hagerstown on Professional Court off Eastern Boulevard. The $5 million, 66-bed center is expected to be under construction by May and employ 40 people.

* Manorhouse Retirement Centers Inc. plans to build a $7 million community across from North Hagerstown High School that would accommodate 103 residents in 87 units and create 50 jobs.

* Emeritus Corp. plans to build a $7 million community with a 100-unit building on Robinwood Drive.

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