JACKSON, WY —For residents, staff, friends, and family of the Living Center at St. John’s, the new Sage Living is both a step into the future and a way to preserve the past.
The groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning drew an enthusiastic crowd to celebrate the new facility.
Sage Living has already been years in the making, from fundraising to design and now, finally, construction. Finally breaking ground was a symbol to many of the community’s dedication, generosity, and character.
“This is an example of how extraordinary this community can be,” said town councilor Jonathan Schechter.
To make a community “extraordinary,” Schechter said, requires three things: strong institutions, those institutions working together for the greater good, and community support of those institutions. “I’ve seen that trifecta here.”
Speakers at Thursday’s ceremony had all sorts of connections to The Living Center. Board member Linda Aurelio is the daughter of a Living Center resident, and said she is blown away by “the love and care she receives every day.” Aurelio also observed that her mother is able to stay in Jackson because she doesn’t have memory problems. Currently, the Living Center is not equipped to treat patients with memory issues. The new Sage Living will include a full memory care unit. It’s a “much-needed service,” Aurelio said.
Lori Iverson’s connection with The Living Center is multi-dimensional, she said. St. John’s and the National Elk Refuge share a “stunning backdrop,” but they also share history. Iverson looked to Living Center resident Phyllis Osborne. Osborne worked at the Visitor’s Center on North Cache and spent part of her childhood in the Elk Refuge, Iverson said. So of course when Osborne took a tour of the Refuge, Iverson granted her access to her old stomping grounds, which are no longer open to the public.
“The National Elk Refuge preserves landscape and habitat,” Iverson said. “St. John’s preserves memories. History will live on.”
Sage Living will be completed and ready for residents by summer 2021.