Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — Hospice of Washington County hosted an Alive After Five event Tuesday night, welcoming numerous community members to their recently completed building.
Executive Director Katrina Altenhofen said she was ecstatic with the show of support as things came together.
“I’m just elated,” she said. “I want our benefactors to be as proud of this building as we are as staff … so it’s neat to see all of these individuals come out today who helped us. It’s still so surreal, to look over at that biocell and think that’s where the old building was.”
The director said she hoped the community would continue to benefit from the project.
“We designed it because we wanted the community to be able to enjoy this,” she said. “We hope to have a lot of outside space, whether you want to hold a meeting here or just want a time to come meet the staff.”
The office space replaces the organization’s former location on the same lot, which was plagued with flooding, foundation damage and accessibility issues. Hospice Co-Chair Lori Stogdill said the new workspace was truly the best outcome.
“Our efforts began with the formation of a building committee to explore various options, and we did,” she said. “We looked at other buildings, other locations in town. The committee, along with the administration and the board, determined that a new building on this same site was our best option … anything that didn’t have a basement underneath it that flooded, we were able to keep.”
The new building is a product of tireless fundraising, grant seeking, and work done in the last several years.
“Today is our dream come true,” said Hospice Center Co-Chair Barb Cutkomp. “We have been dreaming about this day for quite a long time. We have worked hard, we have planned, we have fundraised, and we have prayed about this day. It’s finally here.”
Cutkomp had many people to thank, including Altenhofen, hospice staff and volunteers, contractors, and communities served by the agency.
“Your passion and investment, either financially or emotionally to us, has been amazing and an inspiration,” she said. “Thank you to everyone that’s been involved.”
Diana Wubbena, the construction site’s project manager from McCreedy-Ruth, said it felt good to work on the local initiative.
“We’ve been working on this project just about as long as you guys have been planning it,” she said. “I live in Washington, so for myself it’s been really nice to work on this project because this is my local community. These are people that I see at the farmers market, people that I see in the Muni Band … so that’s really been a pleasure.”