This season of autumn reminds us how beautiful change can be. It is nearly impossible to take in the turning colored leaves of purple, yellow and red, the scent of the falling leaves during a walk in the woods, or the sunshine on these warmer autumn days, and not embrace the change. We have welcomed this metaphor related to change as we have recently decided to look for a new site for where to build our residential children’s hospice and respite care home.
Many of you have been aware that for the past 3 years we had been working closely with the team from Ridgeview Medical Center and the City of Chaska with the hopes of building our residential children’s hospice on beautiful property on Lake Bavaria offered next to the Marie Steiner Kelting Hospice Home owned by Ridgeview. From the first time we visited the site we thought it was the perfect place to build our residential children’s hospice and respite care home. We had many meetings between our building committee, board, architects, Ridgeview’s team, the Dept. of Health, and the city of Chaska’s team to figure out how we could make it work.
This past spring, 2015 following a Request for Proposal to local architectural firms, led by Mortenson’s team, we hired a new firm, RSP Architects. Their first piece of work with us was an experience design process. They set out and interviewed dozens of local families and clinicians as well as those who are working at other residential children’s hospices in the US and Canada. The information they gathered from these interviews informed an objective and thoughtful approach which led to the decision to look for a new site.
In order to build a home that will fully meet the needs of children and their families, we need 3.5-4 acres of land. The site in Chaska was 2.8 acres. We had been trying to make that work. The additional information from families and clinicians made our decision more clear, we would have to make a change. We are so grateful to the incredible team at Ridgeview Medical Center who stood beside us all along the way, and who continue to participate on our building committee due to their passion for our mission.
Immediately upon making the decision to look for a new site, our building committee began receiving support from Paul Donovan with Cushman Wakefield and Bob Strachota with Shenehon Companies. These two individuals are familiar with potential sites available and have been helping us to identify a new site closer to the local children’s hospitals in the Twin Cities and in a residential area. We plan to determine a new building site by the end of this year so that we can keep moving forward to bring this much needed children’s hospice to our community. While it was a rather difficult decision after all of the work and relationships that were built in Chaska, we are confident that we will find the right place to build this home. We have embraced this change like the way we embrace the beautiful color change of autumn.