Immanuel Lutheran Communities
Driven by their core values of compassion, excellence, respect, integrity, and stewardship, Immanuel Lutheran Communities (ILC) provides care for the aging. ILC’s business model and values-based practices help provide a safe, supportive, and encouraging home environment that’s respectful of its residents.
Over the years, population growth in Montana’s Flathead valley saw an increasing number of people seeking the care that the original Immanuel Lutheran Home provided. Responding to this growth, Immanuel Lutheran Communities in 2015 decided to move forward with what was the largest venture they had ever undertaken.
To meet growing demand, ILC wanted to both upgrade existing facilities and build new ones.
Engineering design and construction for this expansion took place over the span of nearly five years with the renovation of the existing “Bratsburg” memory care wing. Thirty-three resident units were completely updated with fully controlled heating and cooling, new lighting, and networked Nnurse-Call and fire alarm systems. Additionally, this renovation included:
- a 1,000 sq. ft. kitchen and dining space
- a new 1,100 sq. ft. physical therapy gym addition
- a new nurse station with remote terminals in the resident wings for improved staff efficiency, resident safety, and service quality
At the same time, expansion design plans moved to the new “Lodge” facility—a 24-unit memory-support resident wing that included a large kitchen addition and dining room renovation. ILC’s vision also included another facility dubbed, “The Villas.” which is 36 independent living apartments, a therapy pool, below-building parking, and an auditorium with seating capacity of 150.
The final step was the complete renovation of the oldest portions of the original Immanuel Lutheran Home with upgraded HVAC heating, cooling and ventilation systems, fire alarm system, and new LED lighting.
Overall, the project had construction costs near $28M, with 80,000 sq. ft. of new construction and more than 70,000 sq. ft. of large-scale remodel improvements.
Morrison-Maierle provided civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical engineering design that helped streamline the project.
Significant challenges included the planning and securing the necessary water, sewer and electrical utility needs, working closely with City of Kalispell public works staff to verify the design and access requirements. This multi-phased project made the most of every available square foot, which presented an added complexity.
The design team worked with geotech studies, city officials, and landscape designers to creatively accommodate anticipated stormwater detainment and treatment demands. The construction schedule was staged to complete the project in steps, before the new building and renovation designs had even been finalized.
Our team updated the facility’s noncompliant fire alarm system to comply with current codes and ADA requirements, including a design that replaced the traditional, very loud, fire alarm “horns” to a less-jarring “chime.” This seemingly small design change brought an improved quality of life to residents, many of whom are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and are not necessarily capable of taking the appropriate action to protect themselves in the event of the fire alarm.
Morrison-Maierle’s core values of integrity, commitment, respect and excellence align closely with those of the Immanuel Lutheran Communities. These values were brought to the forefront on every decision to help guide the team in their mutual commitment to better our community and the lives of those around us.