Fund raising continues as assisted care facility goes out to bid

Fund raising for the Ellington Manor assisted living project in Gardnerville is continuing as a call for construction bids nears, a project spokeswoman said last week.

"We've raised over $2 million. Now we're working on the final $250,000 or so to get the project up and running," said Joyce Buckingham of the Sierra Assisted Living Foundation.

She said Ellington Manor is the brainchild of Ellie O'Toole, a Douglas County business owner who has been a planning commissioner among other community roles there.

The project would provide housing, meals, transportation and assistance to active seniors and disabled adults for $541 a month. Residents who choose to help with various duties such as housekeeping, transportation or office duties could have those expenses reduced in exchange for the work.

The foundation is holding a dance Saturday at Harrah's South Lake Tahoe to help cover startup and initial operating expenses.

"Christmas at the Lake," featuring Mumbo Gumbo, is expected to raise about $20,000 for the foundation. That would pay for a required additional property appraisal, consulting fees and startup.

The $2 million raised so far through donations, loans and grants has purchased an eight-acre site at 1227 Kimmerling Road, paid for permits and installation of utilities and provided $700,000 toward construction of the first two 12-unit buildings, Buckingham said.

Raising $265,000 will complete the two-building first phase, she said. Four more 12-unit buildings and some support facilities also are planned.

O'Toole created the Sierra Assisted Living Foundation with the sole purpose of providing affordable housing to low-income seniors and disabled and adults. The cooperative living arrangement planned for Ellington Manor is called a self-assisted living environment.

Buckingham said bid specifications for the construction will be distributed shortly and a contract could be awarded within a month. The foundation members expect that people will be living in Ellington Manor before the end of 2000, she said.

Each residence building will have 12 apartments with exterior and interior access and common living room, kitchen, dining area, multipurpose room, guest room, therapy jacuzzi room, bath and laundry.

Transportation to group or individual appointments or outside activities will be included in the monthly costs as well as three meals daily. On-site activities are to include music, exercise, arts and crafts, computer access, weight training, study groups, games, dances and socials.

For more information, call O'Toole at (775) 783-1883 or Jack Fleming at (775) 885-1589.


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