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Assisted living coming to Elmore

By Staff | Apr 5, 2015

The new owner of the former Elmore Academy facility, David Olshansky, reacts to questions and comments from some citizens of Elmore last Monday as he explains his plan for a new assisted living facility.

The new owner of the former Elmore Academy building was in Elmore last week to explain his plans for the facility and to ask for the city’s blessings to proceed.

David Olshansky, of Golden Valley, explained to the council and to approximately 35 interested citizens how he plans to turn the former Elmore Public School into an assisted living center.

Olshansky said his company plans on eventually having 50 assisted living rooms with 50 to 75 residents as part of what he termed “phase one.”

In addition, future plans include turning the top floors of the facility into senior living apartments, as part of a “phase two.”

There will also be a full kitchen to serve three meals a day, he says, and they should employ 20 to 25 people when they get to full capacity expected to be in 12 months after it opens.

But, the owner of two home health care companies in the Twin Cities said it could be some time before they can open.

“I did not know the exact condition of the building when we bought it,” Olshansky said. “It is going to require quite a bit of work, more than I?expected.”

The new owner says there are issues with the roof and the heating system. They will also have to do extensive remodeling in the dorm rooms and especially in the kitchen, which, he says, does not meet code.

“I think this work cannot be done before June,” Olshansky said. “So, I don’t think we can open any earlier than July 1. Or later.”

He added that they need to find a director for the facility as well, and that may take some time, too.

Olshansky also indicated he would be willing to work with community members to become a good citizen of Elmore, and asked the people at the special council meeting last Monday afternoon if they had any ideas for him.

Among the suggestions Olshansky himself threw out were to use the gymnasium as a type of community center complete with serving meals as needed, have a community meeting room and also to allow local groups to use the softball and football field areas.

One citizen asked if Olshansky would turn the former school music room into a convenience store, since the town desperately needs one after the grocery store closed.

Olshansky made no commitment, but later suggested the City Council meeting room, attached to the liquor store, would make for a fine space for a convenience store and already would have employees in place to run it.

The new Elmore businessman also gave a brief biographical history of himself.

“I came to this country, from Russia, in 1990,” he said. “I was a dental professional.”

Then in 1994 he and his wife started a home health care business in the Twin Cities.

“It felt so good to make that first dollar in business,” he said. “It means you are doing something right.”

He later also started an adult day care company as well as a pharmaceutical delivery company (pharmacy) that fills 200 prescriptions per day.

“Now, 20 years later, we are a multi-million dollar business, with over 1,300 clients and hundreds of employees,” he added. “Including 50 to 70 nurses.”

Now Olshansky’s two sons run the businesses in Golden Valley. One son is a lawyer, the other one has a masters in business management, he said.

“This (facility in Elmore) is going to be our first assisted living business,” he says. “And we are happy to be doing it here in Elmore.”

At the end of Monday’s special meeting, the Elmore City Council voted to give Olshansky’s company the green light to proceed with his plan for creating the assisted living facility.

One Elmore resident stood at the end of the meeting and thanked Olshansky for coming to Elmore and doing something positive with the former school and Elmore Academy building.

“This is a great thing to be happening in Elmore,” he said. “We all thank you for doing it.”