Former Sheriff Mearl Justus' widow donates money to St. Paul's Home
BY WALLY SPIERS
News-DemocratOctober 8, 2014
BELLEVILLE — The St. Paul Foundation received a big boost on Wednesday in its campaign to build a new nursing home.
Audrey Justus, widow of former St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus, donated $35,000 toward the construction of the new building now going up at St. Paul's Retirement Home and Apartment Community at 1021 W. E St. in Belleville.
"Mearl would have wanted this," said Audrey, a resident of St. Paul's herself. "He really believed in senior care.
"He told me, 'You stay there. They'll take care of you.'"
The money will go toward the new building, which will have nearly 95,000 square feet, said Sarah Franklin, operations director at the home.
The building will cost about $30 million but will have state-of-the-art technology and amenities for residents. It is scheduled to be done in the spring of 2015. The St. Paul people can barely wait.
It will have three floors that will house people in skilled nursing areas, memory care, assisted living and long-term stay apartments.
The floors will be set up with an entryway complete with a hearth room with fireplace, kitchen area, dining room and resident laundry area. Each floor will be divided into two neighborhoods, with each neighborhood having two households.
The new building also will carry over part of the older facility, some of which dated back into the 1800s. The stained glass windows from the current chapel will move into the new chapel.
Every room will have a window and many of them overlook Pleasant Hill Park.
The people at St. Paul's hope the donation spurs renewed interest in the building fund. St. Paul's Foundation not only manages the home but also raises money for charity care and other work.