The kickoff of fundraising for a new 115-bed nursing home near the Vennehjem development is a major project for Aase Haugen Senior Services. But the organization isn't just thinking of its own future.
Aase Haugen Executive Director Jeffrey Schmidt says his organization has had conversations with other Decorah organizations about the possibility of joint projects near Vennehjem.
One such project would be a Wellness Center on the property. The center, of course, would serve seniors using any of the Aase Haugen developments in the Vennehjem area. But supporters of a Decorah Community Wellness Center have also discussed cooperating with Aase Haugen to create a facility which could serve the entire community.
Likewise, another possible development on the property is a pre-school and day care center. Schmidt says such a center would not only help the community, it would help Aase Haugen by providing child care to its employees working at the Vennehjem properties.
Finally, Aase Haugen representatives have offered 20 acres of their property to the Decorah School District for the price of $1. School district officials are pursuing the purchase of softball diamond property owned by the City of Decorah instead--but that property at one time had the city asking for a payment of $700,000.