FSST Nursing Home on track

Construction projects, as we all know, have been tough to keep on track over the past year and a half. Materials shortages, rising costs, and labor shortages have left many home and business owners stalled or even putting off new builds until some sense of normalcy returns to the market.

But construction of the massive new nursing home just southeast of the Royal River Casino and Hotel remains relatively on schedule to open in August of 2022. Tribal management and Council for the Flandreau Santee Sioux say they are committed to it.  

The 40-plus unit facility is being built with a strong focus on memory-care, something tribal leadership say is desperately needed. One wing of the facility will be dedicated to it. Currently most tribal members are moved out of the area to receive such care. Pearman says it’s tough for families to remain active in their loved ones care let alone visit often when a resident is far away. Two other wings will be more skilled care. Residents will not have to be Native to be considered eligible for care.

Tribal attorney Seth Pearman said late last week that the progress we’re all seeing really is exciting. FSST leadership believes that when the new home is complete, it will round out and complement other tribal wellness and medical programs put into place recently, and there is more to come with the new Wellness Center being planned in the same general location.

Pearman said that the nursing home will offer upwards of 88 new, well-paying jobs. The hope is to do on-site CNA training next summer, which is where a majority of the jobs will be. Housing for that staff and others in the community, however, remains a concern. Especially as the tribe grows other operations and priorities on its campus. Four-plexes that have gone up on the south side of town have been fully rented before the buildings even open. Pearman said this is most likely the next issue tribal officials will address.

A partial solution could come in the form of two new mixed-use commercial and residential buildings in the downtown Flandreau where the tribe already owns properties. Tribal Council is considering new buildings where the current Healthy Start is a few doors west of the Crystal Theatre (former ASCS offices). The other property owned by FSST is on Pipestone Avenue across from the Courthouse and adjacent to the building that houses the Moody County Ambulance Service.

“We’re looking at a mixed-use development on Second Avenue where the tribe currently has property…retail on the bottom and at least two levels of mid to higher class lofts up above,” said Pearman.

They would look to construct on the lot next to the ambulance facility at the same time. A Veterans Memorial will also be an integral part of the construction of the new nursing home facility.

“It is super exciting,” said Pearman. “I think it shows a commitment to the health and well-being of our membership, especially our elders.” View the Story at the Moody Counter Enterprise’s Site.