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Ambitious renovation planned for La Crosse County’s Hillview campus that includes daycare, housing homeless, senior care



La Crosse County administrator Jane Klekamp in the WIZM studio Monday for La Crosse Talk PM.

A long-awaited renovation at a La Crosse nursing home complex could move ahead in the next few weeks.

The La Crosse County Board may vote in August on an ambitious renovation and expansion plan for the Hillview Health Care campus.

County administrator Jane Klekamp discussed the plan Monday on La Crosse Talk PM that would expand the facility into five uses:

  • Day Center (daycare for both children and adults)
  • Bridge housing for adults
  • Senior care
  • Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF) — which is another form of senior care
  • Crisis stabilization

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

“It’s really going to be a nice opportunity to use that building in a way that has some meaning for that area,” Klekamp said.

The renovation estimate initially came in around $30 million, but the updated plan is to not completely remodel the senior care wing, which already exists.

That saves about $10 million and means the county won’t have to go to taxpayers for additional funding and instead can rely on American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, reserve funding and the facility, which, Klekamp said, is self-sustaining.

The timeline, upon the board’s approval is between 18 and 24 months to complete.

“So the entire building will really be in great shape by the time we’re done with it,” Klekamp said, adding, “Well have this entirely, basically, new building that will last hopefully way longer than another 50 years. It will really be a a community area where, for example, if I’m a CNA that works at Hillview, I can drop off my child, if I want to.”

One interesting thing about the plan is the Intergenerational Day Center that would incorporate both children and seniors. The cafeteria would be converted for this purpose and have 60 places for children, as well as a day center for older adults — respite for caregivers and support for families.

A lot of the plan is still being discussed, including how exactly bridge housing would work for homeless people. The model right now calls for 10 private housing units with a priority on veterans.

“Whether it’s a longer term or shorter term, we’re still deciding,” Klekamp said. “But it could be anywhere from two years — up or down.

“So, trying to again help be part of the solution to the housing problem and, because the county would basically be taking care of all the remodeling, we’ll have to figure out sustainability and we think there is a way for it to be sustainable but we think it’s part of the solution.”

The CBRF would take over more of the senior care at Hillview, as it’s a model that’s being utilized more for long-term care. That wing would consist of 34 private rooms and helps meet a growing need for people with dementia.

Read or download the entire plan below:

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  1. Carol Herlitzka

    July 26, 2023 at 8:49 am

    Who will pay for these rennuvations, the tax payers,? Our tax dollars are used for everything.!
    So what you are telling me, we Sr citizens can live there for nothing? Homeless people don’t have
    $s to pay for anything!!except cig, drugs. What ever happened to mendota? Might want to send homeless to them!? When the gov takes our retirement savings from us. We will not have any money either?
    Where did honesty and integrity go? Lie, cheat, steal, what a shame!!!! Give all our weapons to fight a war away. China is just setting in the wings waiting for the right time to blow us to kingdom come..people open your mind and eyes..before it is too late to help the USA!

    • Happy

      July 29, 2023 at 5:54 pm

      Honestly lady I’ve no idea about anything if that’s the type of comment I’ve got towards the homeless y don’t everybody stop judging the folks (human beings that are just like u) perhaps instead of judging y don’t u go spend 72 hours being homeless with nobody to turn to except a bunch of judgemental **cks that haven’t a clue about any of the people out there…. It’s not only homeless people that use drugs!! Hell the drugs are supplied by some people in the highest positions of our government now what!!! That’s truth honey!!!!!

  2. Lori A Smaby

    August 12, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    What a wonderful idea.

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