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Nursing home dedication ceremony a well-attended success

CUTTING THE RIBBON. County Delegate Betsey Patten (right) helps set up the ribbon for cutting by (l-r) Mountain View Administrator Sandy McKenzie, County Commissioners Asha Kenney, Dorothy Solomon and Dave Sorensen, and resident Velma Clark (center) last Saturday, Sept. 10, as part of the grand opening of the new county nursing home, Mountain View Community. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
September 15, 2011
OSSIPEE— Under a bright blue September sky, hundreds gathered for the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony of the new Mountain View Community on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The ceremony seemingly went off without a hitch, but for a few moments that added lighthearted laughter and more applause to the occasion.

Ashley Nickerson lent her singing talents to the ceremony and didn't miss a note while singing the "National Anthem" and "Dream a Little Dream of Me." While singing "What a Wonderful World," the music skipped and was turned off, leaving Nickerson finish the song without the music. She received a round of applause for her efforts and Nursing Home Administrator Sandra McKenzie remarked, ""Actually Ashley, it was a lot better in a capella."

Several members of the audience wiped away tears during the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence for the men and women who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Overall, the mood of the remainder of the ceremony and the tour of the building that followed was light and appreciative of all of the hard work that has gone into constructing the home since ground was broken in April 2010.

County commissioners David Sorensen, Dorothy Solomon, and Asha Kenney all addressed the crowd as did county delegate Betsey Patten, NH Executive Councilor Ray Burton, and Chuck Henderson on behalf of Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Remarks and the blessing were given by Reverend Randy Dales of All Saints Church in Wolfeboro.

Sorensen thanked a lengthy list of people for their help, volunteerism, hard work and support throughout the project including the design and construction teams, nursing home staff, former delegates, and former commissioners including Chip Albee, Marge Webster and the late Peter Olkkola.

Sorensen gave credit to Albee, county finance manager Kathy Garry and treasurer Jack Widmer for thir work getting the best financing rate possible for the multi-million dollar project. "We were able to get $23.5 million for three percent interest, that's unheard of," said Sorensen, "We were doing things at the right time. The economy was such that it was in our favor. I'll tell you today that we'll be able to turn back $2 million to the county delegation." He also noted that most of the contractors came in under budget and many way under budget.

Sorensen said he is often told that he doesn't smile enough and then, with the grin of accomplishment said, "I am very proud today. This is a facility we can all be proud of."

The 103-bed, 85,000 square foot home is spacious and sunny throughout. In the old home, the rooms were arranged in long hallways much like a hospital setting. Residents shared rooms and bathrooms. In the new home, residents have their own room with private bathroom unless they choose to share a room with a spouse or friend. About a dozen rooms make up a grouping called a household. Each household has its own kitchen, dining room and living room. Two households form a neighborhood and there are four neighborhoods in the two-story home.

"We thank the residents who watched and cheered us along the way. This is their home….This project has been a labor of love and that love will permeate through the building when they move it and I can't wait for that to happen," said Solomon.

The residents were scheduled to move into their new home on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Varney Smith
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