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Riverwood Senior Facility

Case Study

Project Scope

From the beginning, the founders of Riverwood worked with community leaders and set out to create a resident-centric, active lifestyle retirement community for seniors. By utilizing the many amenities of the area, including the breathtakingly beautiful location on the Lower Wisconsin River, Riverwood Eagle’s Nest Senior Living promises to bring exceptional senior care to the residents of the Dells area.

  • Type of construction: New Construction
  • Size of project: 48,321 square feet
  • Duration of project: 11.5 months: January to December 2020

Fun Fact #1: Riverwood is the first senior living project in the state to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE Wisconsin). This innovative Wisconsin energy program allows property owners to receive low-cost, long-term loans to complete energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements.

Fun Fact #2: An abundance of wildlife can be observed as well as the eagles that nest on the property high in the tall pines. Because of the proximity of the nests to the facility, Holtz Builders was required to submit daily reports to the Department of Natural Resources so that they could monitor the well-being of the eagles, and eventually their eaglets.

Project Details

A vision long in the making, the Architect, Community Living Solutions (CLS), created preliminary site plans that were revised several times over the years. For a year prior to construction, Holtz Builders, the Architect, the MEP subcontractors met weekly to review design coordination with the Owners.

Nestled along the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Dells is the new Riverwood Eagles Nest Assisted Living and Memory Care facility. Opened in December 2020, the facility has a total of 52 units: 30 assisted living apartments, and 22 memory care suites for people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The building design is divided into three main sections: assisted living main, memory care center, and assisted living south which allowed for continual flow of construction. Once framing was completed in one section, that crew would move to the next section while other crews fell in behind them. For this sequence of phasing the building to work in this round-robin fashion, construction started in the assisted living main section where most of the work would be done in several different scopes; followed by the memory care section and then assisted living south.

The Challenges

Very early in the construction phase of Riverwood, the Covid-19 pandemic was prevalent in the United States. Holtz Builders, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, established company policies and guidelines to be followed by all employees and were modified as the pandemic progressed. The effects of the pandemic changed many things about day-to-day operations. Many employees worked from home, weekly in-person meetings were replaced by ZOOM meetings, which required technology training for most. Quarantine created almost daily staff shortages for contractor employees and sub-contractors. Longer lead times for materials, along with equipment shortages meant schedule adjustments had to be made so work in other areas could proceed until materials arrived or staff was back onsite.

Summers in Wisconsin can get pretty hot and the summer of 2020 was no exception. As work progressed through June, July and August, high temperatures combined with high humidity pushed the heat indexes into the 90’s and even low 100’s on occasion. Drywall installers and painters were unable to perform their work under those conditions. The answer? After the contractors sealed up the open areas of the building to minimize the heat & humidity coming in, two very large portable AC units were rented to condition the air so that sub-contractors could move forward with their scopes.

Our Solution

Despite all of the situations beyond anyone’s control, such as the weather, Covid-19 Pandemic, excessive lead times and material shortages, the Riverwood project came together with minimal hiccups in part due to extensive collaboration and planning prior to construction and ongoing communication between everyone committed to seeing this project through to the end.

After so many years in development, the excitement of the vision becoming a reality for the design team, the Owners, Holtz Builders, sub-contractors, the community and many others, was very gratifying. And after everything was said and done, Holtz Builders delivered a beautiful facility for the residents & their families, staff and the community to enjoy for a very long time – and it was done ahead of schedule and under budget.

Senior living in a breathtaking natural setting