Work Begins on New Rosecrance Ware Center

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The Rosecrance Health Network kicks off a multi-million dollar construction job this week, one of two significant building projects the organization has in the works over the next several months.

Only a few remnants of a belly-up grocery store remain inside the former market on North Main Street in Rockford. The rest of the space is empty.

It’s a blank canvas where Rosecrance plans to move many of the programs offered at the Ware Center which is currently located downtown.

“They’ll be able to see psychiatrists, they’ll be a pharmacy on site, and our community resource center, all out-patient across the board for those individuals seeking services for mental health and behavioral health issues,” said Ware Center Administrator Anne Fridh.

The $8 million project creates nearly double the room of the downtown location and there are plans for a chapel, more community rooms, and even a spot for art therapy, all in a spot that will be more accessible for more people.

“We serve people from all over Winnebago and Boone county, so the majority don’t live downtown, they’re coming from all over.”

Construction crews have a tight time line and Rosecrance wants to cut the ribbon on the site by mid-November.

“Sleepless nights started back in January when we started putting line on paper, but now we’re getting to the point where we have a great construction company and we are starting to see it come to fruition,” said project manager Gary Larson.
While the center’s primary focus will be helping patients get treatment, it will also serve a second purpose to turn the landscape into a bright spot in the community.

“We take care of our buildings and make sure the landscaping is okay. We are an excellent neighbor.”

Patients will not stay overnight at this center. They will be allowed to stay at Rosecrance’s new center on Mulberry. The Health Network got a grant from the state for $1 and a half million to create that new crisis stabilization center with room for overnight guests.

Rosecrance is moving because the county bought the building. The Winnebago County Coroner’s office and Employee Wellness Center will be taking over that space and getting out of the Public Safety Building.

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