SIDNEY — The Fair Haven addition has been a major topic of discussion in the community since the groundbreaking in March, but Fair Haven residents have been eager to see construction for the past few years.
Serious discussion of the project began in 2015, and residents began to be consulted the next year for layout and design input.
Phyllis Curl was a leader on Fair Haven’s resident council during that time, and gave significant input regarding the project. The officers gave feedback on several mock-ups of resident rooms and public spaces during the earliest times of project planning.
Now, roughly three years later, Curl is able to track the progress every day out her window, and throughout the building in the course of a day.
“I think it’s great, really great,” Curl said. “I look out several times a day.” She said she gets different views of the progress throughout the day by visiting different parts of the building, and looks forward to the private rooms the new addition will offer.
Curl was especially excited to see the roof placement recently. Her vantage point from her room is perfect for seeing the peak, as well as a good look at the interior length of the building.
She said she invites other residents and visitors to look out her window with her. That invitation is an example of how the construction project has been a community-building experience, not merely an addition to the campus.
Larry Hawes was on council at the same time as Curl, and is the current resident council president. He is also pleased with the progress on the building. He has a background in construction, and he said the crew is making steady progress.
“(The construction crew is) doing a pretty good job,” he added. “But they’ve got a lot of interior work to do. I am excited to get inside and see when they’re finished outside.”
Resident Deb Schaffner, current resident council secretary, thinks the project is “going very fast…there’s something new every day.”
“It’s exciting,” she added. “It was neat to see the concrete being poured for it, and seeing side walls go up.”
She said she was especially excited about private rooms with large closets and for the enclosed courtyards that are part of the new addition. They would allow residents to spend time in green space while remaining secure.
“Everyone is watching. You can really see the progress. We’re all excited.”
The writer is the assistant administrator of Fair Haven Shelby County Home. He is also a former Sidney Daily News intern.