Kidron Bethel Village to break ground on project

Special to the Kansan

Kidron Bethel Village will celebrate receiving $3.5 million in donated funds for the Live Forward capital campaign with the project’s groundbreaking on at 4 p.m., Sept. 30.

An architect’s rendering shows how the renovated entry of Kidron Bethel Village will appear.

The event will observe COVID-19 precautions by being an outdoor event, and masking will be required. Kidron Bethel Village is located at 3001 Ivy Drive in North Newton.

The Live Forward campaign of $3.5 million is part of a comprehensive $10.7 million campus enhancement that will position Kidron Bethel Village as a place for engagement and connections across the community and generations. Including new construction and upgrades of existing spaces, the project will impact nearly 50,000 square feet and create opportunities for community learning and connections, intergenerational interactions, expanded resident choice, increased movement, freedom and engagement for people living with dementia, and focus on environmental initiatives.

“We are so grateful for the encouragement and support from donors and the wider community in reaching this goal, and for believing in Kidron Bethel Village’s vision for Live Forward,” said Derek Yoder, Bluestem Communities’ vice president of fund advancement. “This enhancement will make a tremendous difference in the short term and greater flexibility for the future.”

Bluestem Communities Fund Advancement staff Derek Yoder, Yvonne Sieber and Kris White move the Live Forward campaign thermometer to 100 percent.

The public phase of the Live Forward campaign launched in October 2020 when Kidron Bethel Village was awarded a $700,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla. Reaching the $3.5 million in donated funds ahead of the one-year timeline laid out by the challenge grant allows for the completion and receipt of the grant.

“This innovative project is the most significant capital endeavor in Kidron Bethel’s history, and will create solutions to address current and future needs while offering benefits for both the campus and broader community,” said James Krehbiel, Bluestem Communities president and CEO. “We are particularly pleased to have worked with Bethel College in planning the education center, which will meet a need for their students and bring more college students to our campus.”

Highlights of the capital improvements include a new education center that also serves as a storm shelter, expanded chapel and community space, a modern entry with reception area, improved dining options, outdoor patio and courtyards, a therapeutic indoor/outdoor walking loop that connects three health care neighborhoods, remodeled health care rooms, enhanced dementia care services and environmental initiatives that include solar power, native landscaping and electric charging stations.

Construction of the project is scheduled to begin later in the fall of 2021. The new construction elements will be completed within 12 to 18 months, and the full project is projected to be complete by late 2023.