Rockland officials approve hospice construction

This story was published on July 27, 2007 on Page B3 in edition 2 of the Bangor Daily News

ROCKLAND – Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care recently received the city’s approval to build a seven-unit hospice house on the agency’s 11 acres at 170 Pleasant St.

“The planning board last week OK’d the project because we met standards in the site plan ordinance for construction, lighting, parking and landscaping,” Donna DeBlois, Kno-Wal-Lin’s executive director and a registered nurse, said in an interview this week.

The new hospice house will provide care to terminally ill patients in the final weeks or days of their lives, and to caregivers in need of a respite, DeBlois said.

“Hospice House staff members will provide support and hospitality for families who are grieving and want to be with their loved ones during their final days,” said Sarah Dwelley, registered nurse and hospice program manager.

The design of the hospice house is based on a New England farmstead with a big house, little house, back house and barn configuration, she said. Glass-enclosed courtyards with four-season gardens will connect the houses.

“Every unit will open on the patio,” she said.

The agency plans to break ground in October for the new building and complete the project in 10 months, DeBlois said.

“It’ll be an environmentally green building that will sit on a rise behind this facility,” she added. The $3.3 million project is to be funded entirely from money that has been raised.

“Even though it’s only seven units, it has to be built to nursing home standards,” she said.

The new building will become the third freestanding hospice in Maine. The others are in Auburn and Scarborough.

Harriman Associated of Portland designed the property. Wright-Ryan Construction Inc. of Portland will be the general contractor, although local contractors will do the actual construction, DeBlois said.

Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care and Hospice, founded in 1966, provides hospice and home health care in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties, with offices in Belfast, Rockland and Damariscotta. The agency is part of Pen Bay Healthcare.