It all began in 1991, when a small group of senior citizen friends from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis, Oregon were gathered and someone suggested, “We need a residential facility for older persons in our community…and we need to locate it conveniently on the vacant church property right next to St. Mary’s at 23rd and Fillmore.”
Interested parishioners formed a planning committee and surveyed other parishioners. They visited residential facilities in the area, as well as other cities. General concepts were developed, and ideas for services and operation of the facility were explored. Initially, the intent was to build a retirement facility, but later, it was determined the facility should provide assisted living. From the very beginning, the committee agreed they wanted to serve seniors from the broader community, not just members of St. Mary’s church. Because no other assisted living facility in Corvallis at the time served persons on Medicaid, it was very important to the planning committee to include seniors on limited incomes.
In 1993, a not-for-profit corporation was established, and the initial board of directors organized. Rich Rodeman, former city attorney and community leader, became the board’s first president. Other members of the board included: Ron Bentz, Jerry Fox, Jerry Hortsch, Betty Johnson, Francis Johnson, Joe Malcom, Jack Moran, Mario Pastega, and Dale Ramsay. Bishop Kenneth Steiner was ex-officio member of the board. (Dale Ramsay later resigned to avoid a conflict of interest as he submitted a bid to build the facility.)
Initially, the corporation was established in connection with the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland. Later, the not-for-profit corporation was reorganized independent of the Archdiocese, and new board members were added to represent the broader community.
Significant milestones along the journey included:
- A market study to validate a need for the services in Benton County
- A land purchase of 1.4 acres at northwest 23rd and Fillmore
- A contract for development services with Grayco, a Portland firm experienced in assisted living facilities
- An advance loan from Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services to facilitate architectural and other preparatory work (later, OHCS committed to a 30-year loan for $3.3 million)
- A capital fund drive by Mario Pastega, Joe Malcom, and Debra Ringold to raise $700,000 required by the loan commitment
- A construction loan from U.S. Bank
- A building design by architectural firm, Ankrom-Moisan
- A facility management contract with Concepts in Community Living, Inc.
- A final design for construction in two phases: the first phase to include 42 studio and one-bedroom apartments; the second phase of 16 apartments to be constructed in the future
- A license as a fully qualified assisted living facility from the State of Oregon
The GRAND OPENING was celebrated on July 1, 2002 with 42 studio and one-bedroom apartments with a full range of support services and activities to enhance the quality of living for elders in our community! The first resident to be welcomed to Corvallis Caring Place was retired Corvallis physician, Dr. James Riley.
Another major milestone was celebrated in March 2005 when permanent financing for the facility was arranged with U.S. Bank.
Today, Corvallis Caring Place continues to provide residents a full range of supportive services in a caring environment. Under the present management contract with Mennonite Village, Corvallis Caring Place continues its reputation for quality services in the community. The board of directors has established standing committees to carry out its oversight functions as the owner, including Quality Assurance, Community Relations, Building, and Finance.
Corvallis Caring Place, the only nonprofit assisted living facility in Corvallis, is alive and well! The corporation’s board includes experienced professional and business people from our community who are committed to providing dignity and compassion in a life-enriching environment for the residents for many years to come