Rocky Knoll is in the process of applying for a State Grant to be used for updating equipment, renovating resident rooms in the B-Building, and remodeling the Dining and Activity rooms on the Ground Floor. The proposed projects also include replacing resident room and bathroom flooring in Woodland Village as well as freshening up the Woodland Village Dining room and creating a Training Classroom on the Woodland Village unit. We are looking forward to approval of the grant this Fall, and would begin construction late 2020 or early 2021. Watch the website for updates. You can also request information or voice any questions or concerns regarding the State Grant by contacting our Project Coordinator, Cindy Stevens, at the following: cstevens@rockyknoll.net or by phone at 920-449-1236. Below is an article written in the Plymouth Review on Rocky Knoll's State Grant application.

Rocky Knoll seeks upgrade grant

by Dan Colton

Of the Review Staff

Rocky Knoll Health Care Center in Plymouth is applying for a nearly $1.6 million grant to update its facilities.

The grant - administered by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development - seeks to promote affordable housing and improved living conditions for low-to-moderated income Americans, according to Cindy Stevens, project coordinator at Rocky Knoll.

Many of Rocky Knoll’s patients rely on Medicaid, and Stevens said the Sheboygan County-owned healthcare center is a standout candidate for the grant because publicly funded health institutions like Rocky Knoll have decreased in number over the decades.

That means the Community Development Block Grant - overseen by HUD - doesn’t have many opportunities to work with institutions like Rocky Knoll, Stevens said, and government officials at the state and local level were eager to direct federal money into an industry that’s become increasingly privatized.

“Sheboygan County was eligible for ($1,582,833) through this program, and the county had the right to determine where they thought those funds would be most useful,” Stevens said, adding that although the application process is still underway, she was told Rocky Knoll will most likely be awarded the grant “as long as we have our ducks in line.”

“We’ve been pretty much approved,” Stevens added.

As part of the application process, Stevens said Rocky Knoll put together an eight-member citizen participation committee that included local business leaders, a military veteran, a county supervisor, a representative from the Aging and Disability Resource Center and a member of Rocky Knoll’s residents’ council.

There was also a public hearing July 24, but Stevens said it was sparsely attended.

If Rocky Knoll receives the grant as Stevens expects, she said the facility’s 5-to-10-year improvement plan would be tackled within two years, and all without raising tax levies to complete the improvements. She said it would improve a publicly-owned institution without increasing taxes.

“Part of the (county) tax levy comes to Rocky Knoll, so the community has a vested interest in making this place work and making this viable,” Stevens said.

According to a project description document, the grant would cover three phases of construction. The first phase includes replacing the facility’s hot water system, remodeling residential rooms, replacements of sink, addition of TV cabling and a ground floor remodeling of one of Rocky Knoll’s three main buildings, all of which were built between 1972 and 2002, according to Stevens.

The next two phases would include other various remodeling and the addition of a training classroom for Lakeshore Technical College nursing students.

The proposed upgrades are largely intended to improve the daily living situation of people who live at Rocky Knoll and rely on the care it provides.

“We want to have this benefit the residents the most,” Stevens said.

Stevens said the nursing home’s most recent census counted 125 residents, but she said that number is usually in fluctuation as new residents arrive and later discharged.

Stevens said most of the nursing home’s residents are treated for long-and-short-term rehabilitation following surgery or injury, and for cognitive issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

The grant application is expected to be completed in August, Stevens said, followed by an up-to 60-day period for a Wisconsin Department of Health Services division to determine whether or not to award the grant.

A second public hearing would also be scheduled.

The deadline to apply for the grant is Jan. 31, 2021.

If awarded, Rocky Knoll would have two years to complete work, according to Stevens, or else risk loss of funding. An extension to the timeline is available, according to Stevens, for extenuating circumstances. She speculated that the COVID-19 pandemic could be one of those situations as construction workers would need to physically access residential rooms.

As a result, residents would need to be temporarily rehoused in separate quarters, and Stevens said that could drag out the process.

Stevens said Sheboygan County residents with additional questions on the grant application or proposed project should contact her by calling (920) 449-1236.

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