The sale of the Rowley Masonic Community to the Perry Lutheran Homes moved closer to completion this week when the Perry City Council wrote off some outstanding Rowley debt to the city, and two of the Perry Lutheran Homes’ long-term care facilities were rechristened with “full-of-life” names.
In a Nov. 10 special meeting of the Perry City Council, the council unanimously approved the acceptance of a lump sum payment of $75,000 by the Rowley Masonic Community to the city in satisfaction of a remaining balance of $85,005.12 owed under a 2013 development agreement.
Among other things, the development agreement outlined the shared cost of building 28th Street from Willis Avenue to the Rowley entrance. Perry City Attorney DuWayne Dalen told the council that an initial offer of $42,500 was negotiated up to $75,000, which “was doing well under the circumstances,” he said.
Dalen told to council at its regular meeting Monday night that the remaining terms of the 2013 agreement will remain in full force and effect. The Rev. Max Philips, chief executive officer of the Perry Lutheran Homes, attended the council meeting and assured the city of his company’s intention to abide by the agreement, including the eventual need to build sidewalks on the property.
Perry City Council member Dr. Randy McCaulley recused himself from the Nov. 10 and Nov. 16 votes because he is a sitting member of the Perry Lutheran Homes Board of Directors.
The Perry Lutheran Homes also announced Monday some name changes to accompany its expanded administrative duties in Perry: The 57-bed Rowley facility is to be renamed the Eden Acres campus. The 70-bed Willis Avenue campus will now be known as King’s Gardens campus, and the 77-bed Spring Valley campus will remain unchanged in name.
A statement issued by the Perry Lutheran Homes explained the new names:
Perry Lutheran Homes has implemented a unified campus naming scheme that gives reverence to local history, is consistent from campus to campus, evokes strong and positive visuals, and implies “full-of-life.” Perry Lutheran Homes Spring Valley Campus will continue its current name with a nod to Spring Valley township, a youthful appeal and a connection to Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Perry Lutheran Homes Willis Campus will transition to Perry Lutheran Homes King’s Gardens Campus. Where the Willis Avenue building sits today was once the site of the King’s Daughter’s Hospital. A group of local women called the King’s Daughters, with concern for the community of Perry, fundraised, built and opened King’s Daughter’s Hospital in 1914. In 1956, Perry Lutheran Homes took up residence in the old King’s Daughter’s Hospital building on Willis Avenue. With two expansions at this site in 1966 and 1973, the old hospital building was torn down in 1978. King’s Gardens Campus has outdoor spaces and gardening opportunities for residents living in all the various care neighborhoods within. In the bible, God created gardens as a place of gathering, refuge, sustenance, safety, prayer and life which fits with what takes place every day at King’s Gardens Campus.
Rowley Masonic Community will transition to Perry Lutheran Homes Eden Acres Campus. The expansive land and attractive buildings and spaces have been well known in the community and signify growth, beauty and opportunity. The Rowley Masonic Home was built in 1957 to serve older adults in the community in need of long-term care. In 2014, the beautiful 72,000 sq. ft. addition was started and complete in 2015. What the Masons have started at the Rowley Masonic Community, we will carry on together as Perry Lutheran Homes Eden Acres Campus. In the bible, Eden was the first garden that God created. It signifies new life, incredible beauty, and paradise with God as the “master designer.” God put Adam and Eve into Eden to care for and nurture the land. And God has put us at Eden Acres campus to do the same for our residents each and every day.
“This acquisition is a positive event for Perry and beyond because the beautiful buildings and grounds will continue to be utilized to bring attention to the needs of our seniors and older adults and care for them in new and innovative ways,” Phillips told staff members of the Rowley Masonic Community. “We are grateful to those that were part of constructing the Rowley Masonic Community.”
“We would like to thank those in and around the Perry area for their support of Rowley Masonic Community,” said Neil Paulsen, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Herman L. Rowley Memorial Trust. “It has been a true honor to serve our residents and their families for more than 60 years. We also are deeply appreciative of our fellow Masonic bodies, including the Masons of Iowa, who have acted as true advocates for Rowley Masonic Community from the beginning through this transition. Above all else, our priority is those who live in and work at Rowley Masonic Community. We are fully confident Perry Lutheran Homes will provide a warm, hospitable environment for everyone to thrive within.”
The Perry Lutheran Home opened in 1956 in the former Kings Daughters Hospital in the 2300 block of Willis Avenue, which was built in 1913 and demolished in 1979. In the 1960s and 1970s, additions increased the size of the facility, and a $1 million remodeling in 2015 brought the addition of a memory-care unit.
Acquiring the lease on the Spring Valley Retirement Community in 2013 from the Dallas County Hospital Foundation increased the Perry Lutheran Homes’ assisted-living supply by 39 units, and the staff grew to its present size of about 130.
The original Rowley Masonic Community at 3000 Willis Ave. was built in 1957. A $20 million, 72,000-square-foot addition to the Rowley opened in 2015 on the 36-acre campus at 1300 28th St.
The Perry Lutheran Homes will host a socially safe Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 8:30 a.m. to commemorate this exciting moment in the history of our community. The ribbon cutting will take place at the Eden Acres campus (formerly the Rowley Masonic Community) at 1300 28th St. in Perry.
The celebration will feature refreshments, and the public is welcome to attend. Visitors will need to park and enter through the east, main entrance off of 28th Street. To learn more, visit the Perry Lutheran Homes website.