Infrastructure work begins for hospice house

The future home of the Our House residential hospice bustled with activity Monday.

There was a ground-breaking ceremony of sorts taking place Monday for the planned “Our House” Hospice House of Tracy.
Excavating and earth-moving equipment for Duininck Inc. began work that will extend Fifth Street East and install water and sewer utilities for a planned four-bedroom residential hospice house.
“This is the first stage in getting things going,” said Nathan Schunke, director of Hospice of Murray County, which is spearheading the project.
Fund-raising efforts for the new house continue, he said, with hopes that construction on the house can begin next year.
The Fifth St. East street extension comes north off of State Street. The hospice house’s driveway will be connected to Fifth St. East.
The 6,100 square-foot house will have four patient rooms, each with its own bathroom. Otherwise, the house will be set up much like a home, with a common living room, eating area, kitchen, and patio. A guest bedroom will be available for family members.
The hospice house will offer 24-hour care for the terminally ill, with a team of 12 to 15 employees led by a supervisor.
Estimated cost of the home is $1.3 million. A goal has been set to raise $250,000 before the actual construction begins.
Hospice of Murray County, which has been offering end-of-life care since 1986, operates a residential hospice at 36 Park Drive in Slayton. That house has historically had a high-occupancy rate. The hospice’s board of directors wants to build another hospice house in order to better serve area families requesting residential hospice care, according to Schunke.
Hospice of Murray County, which requested the street and utility extensions this summer, will be paying for the improvements.
The Our House location is northeast of Sanford Tracy Medical Center, on the east side of what will become a new 50-foot extension of Fifth St. East.