Health Care

Assisted Living Center Opens in Former East Palestine School

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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – Christian House has opened and is accepting residents, ending a journey of more than seven years for its owners.

Dean and Karen Christian purchased the former Captain Taggart Elementary School, 82 Garfield St., at auction in 2009 and spent $2.4 million to convert the building into an assisted living center, CEO Karen Christian said.

They had planned to pursue the project earlier but because of the Great Recession and its aftermath  had trouble securing financing. “It was a long and arduous process,” she said.

Adolph Johnson & Son Co., Mineral Ridge, served as the general contractor. Conversion of the former school, which later served as the school district’s administration building, took less than seven months, Paul Johnson, president of Adolph Johnson, said.

“The project preserved a piece of local history while also providing a much-needed service to the surrounding community,” project manager Jon Locketti said. “Some local residents have traveled full circle as they will be moving into the same building they attended school.”

The center received its license two weeks ago and began accepting patients. A grand opening is planned for May, Christian said. So far the 49-bed center has five patients.

The Christians also operate Christian House Home Health, a home health-care agency.  “We can fill the home health needs of our community and do assisted living for the ones who can’t live alone,” she said.

A planned renovation of Heid Hall is the next collaboration between the Christians and Johnson. Plans call for a banquet hall on the first floor and senior apartments on the second, although Christian acknowledged those plans are subject to change.

The deed transfer is expected to take place next week and plans for the renovation are expected to get underway after that, she said, with an eye on having the project completed by the end of 2018.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.