With the first round of Victorian House renovations complete, Mary Louise began working with Paul Biebel of Biebel Builders in Windsor and Architect Paul Carroll, from Boston, to design two new buildings—a skilled nursing home and an independent and assisted living area.
“We talked with them about our dream for the community. We wanted an attractive building that didn’t look out of place in this rural setting and that would offer comfortable common space, a fireplace, sizeable rooms and windows for plenty of light. We also wanted to devote part of the nursing home to people with dementia so they included some secured areas with a lot of skylights and outdoor opportunities for gardening and getting out into the fresh air.”
–Mary Louise Sayles
In order to qualify for the loan program, the women had to raise additional capital, so Mary Louise met with Don Hall, administrator at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont New Hampshire, to discuss the project and the obstacles that prevented them from receiving financing. The hospital had an investment arm that could support a for-profit business investment. Mary Louise presented her case in front of the hospital’s board of directors and, ultimately, convinced them to support the Cedar Hill project. Consequently, the hospital became part owner of Cedar Hill for a 10-year-period, enabling Mary Louise and Judith to move ahead with financing.
Having obtained the additional capital they needed, Mary Louise and Judith signed papers for their HUD-insured loan in February of 1994 and were ready to begin construction of Cedar Hill Health Care, which included Teddy’s Place, a wing of the center that was dedicated to memory care. They broke ground on a snowy day in March and completed the project within seven months. Residents moved into the new Cedar Hill Health Care Center in September of 1994 and within a year, the center reached 100% occupancy. The skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation facilities here continue to provide top-notch care for the senior community in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire.