By LOU WILIN
Construction of the $6.3 million, 32,539-square-foot addition to Judson Palmer Home, 2911 N. Main St., is nearing completion.
The home’s 16 women residents will move into the new space after its completion this spring. After that, the existing building will be renovated for office and storage space, said Anja Rademacher, administrator.
Judson Palmer Home, which is nonprofit, offers assisted living for women in financial need.
Money from the original trust fund established by Judson and Katherine Palmer is paying for the expansion.
“We wanted to give the ladies a bigger space, their own restrooms, so it’s more of a private suite,” Rademacher said.
The new building will be safer for residents because it will be a single story. Residents also will have their own walk-in shower and the rooms will all be handicap accessible.
In the center of the new building is an activity center with a patio attached.
On a late January day, the activity center was still a diamond in the rough. No drywall was up yet, so metal framing was exposed. In the center of the room, a pallet was stacked with construction materials and other stuff, flanked by a ladder laid on the floor, sawhorses and a power saw. But the large windows, even with packaging labels still affixed, let sunlight cascade inside, illuminating the room and promising something big.
“This area here is what I’m so excited about,” Rademacher said. “I think this is going to be just gorgeous.”
Just on the other side of one wide, large set of windows is a patio.
“Currently our activity room is in the basement, so this is quite a change for us,” Rademacher said. “I was really, really happy with this.”
Part of the patio is covered and part of it is open.
“We’re going to be incorporating a lot of outdoor activities,” Rademacher said, citing happy hour with alcoholic or nonalcoholic drinks, music and games.
“Who knows, maybe some barbecues and being able to invite families more often than we are able to now, to dine with us, relax, spend time together,” she said.
Rademacher said it is important for residents to be in constant contact with family, and she wants Judson Palmer Home to facilitate that.
The new building matches the architectural character of the old one, which was built in 1950. A walking path on the Judson Palmer grounds will lead to the old grove of catalpa trees east of the old building.
The expansion idea originated years ago with Rademacher’s predecessor and mother. Rebecca Rademacher was administrator of Judson Palmer Home from 2006-2018.
“Originally it started with us wanting to renovate a restroom and it kind of snowballed. Then they were talking about, maybe we should think about doing more extensive renovations,” Anja Rademacher said.
Rebecca Rademacher, then the administrator, drew up a plan for the board to view.
“She even drew out little sketches for the room,” Anja Rademacher said. “What we have is remarkably similar to that.”
Rebecca Rademacher, who spends her winters in Florida, will be back to Findlay soon to see the results of her plans.