Twenty new homes are under construction and a flurry of other improvement projects are in the works as part of a $4 million project at Riverview Retirement Community.
Riverview has provided senior citizen care since 1959, when land on Upriver Drive was donated by Lutheran churches for the project. The retirement community now covers 20 acres between Granite and Crestline streets.
“The needs of the elderly have changed,” said Patty Bickley, Riverview retirement counselor.
“In 1959, an older person might have rented a room in a boarding house. Now people want at least a bedroom and living room - or a full-size house.”
In 1985, responding to changing needs, five houses and a community center were built at Riverview Village for people over age 60 who wanted their own homes, but not the responsibility of home ownership. By 1987 there were 60 houses in the village.
As retirees age, the village concept also offers a smooth transition from independent living to assisted care to skilled nursing, all within the Riverview community.
In addition to the new houses, other renovations include adding a dining room for Alzheimer’s patients and another for assisted-living patients; remodeling the main care center, adding a physical care facility and more private rooms.
Improvements should be completed by the end of the year.
A 2,500-square foot community building is also planned.
Bickley said nearly all the homes, priced at $135,500, have been sold. They should be ready to move into by June.
North Spokane residents Joe and Betty Miles investigated nursing and retirement homes around the country before deciding on Riverview.
“I like the independence of being in your own home,” said Joe Miles, 82. “All the maintenance is taken care of for you and you can get a higher level of care when you need it.
“The biggest factor was the price,” he said.
The new construction will bring the total number houses in the village to 116.
Riverview has 400 residents and 200 employees.