Construction begins on First Barrier-Free Home for Street of Dreams
Release Date: 10/17/2006

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Home to feature the latest in barrier-free amenities for the safety and convenience of the disabled, Project made possible by Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction

Ground-breaking celebration Oct. 19, 2006 at 10 a.m. at the Five Fountains Development located at 18915 Boyle Circle in Elkhorn

OMAHA, Neb.— Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction will break ground today on the first barrier-free house to be featured in the Street of Dreams. Designed to accommodate the unique safety and mobility needs of persons with disabilities and the aging, the house will showcase how the latest in barrier-free amenities can be integrated into today’s family home. The public will be able to tour the home and learn about barrier-free living at the 2007 Street of Dreams at Five Fountains, July 14-29, 2007. Proceeds from the sale of the home will ultimately support other efforts to improve the quality of life for people with limited mobility in the greater Omaha community.

“This is a great opportunity to increase public awareness about the innovative ways we can create a barrier-free community – in our homes, in our healthcare settings, in our public areas and even in our hearts,” said Alegent Health CEO Wayne Sensor. “Alegent Health takes a very patient-centered approach to designing our hospitals so they provide a comfortable, home-like environment while meeting the diverse needs of our patients. This project applies the same principle to home design, and we are proud to partner with Curt Hofer Construction to bring this amazing example of barrier-free living to the Street of Dreams.”

Once completed the ranch-style home will feature 3,700 square feet of finished living space along with the convenience of an elevator. But Hofer says what the public won’t notice will be the additional numerous barrier-free subtleties spread throughout the entire home. These amenities will include wider doorways for wheelchair access, larger, more spacious rooms and plenty of natural sunlight.

“The challenge in building this type of home is incorporating both the warm, luxurious home-like atmosphere, with clever disguises of barrier-free living that anyone can feel comfortable living in,” said Hofer. “Partnering with Alegent Health really seemed like a natural fit as through both architectural and human components, their hospitals truly embody the healing aspects of a home-like environment for optimal healing.”

Curt Hofer Construction’s president and CEO and his family personally understand the challenges of creating a home-like environment that is also sensitive to mobility issues. Their 15-year-old daughter, Janae, was born with cerebral palsy. Curt Hofer Construction is one of Omaha’s premier builders and a cornerstone builder on the annual Street of Dreams Project sponsored by the Metro Omaha Builders Association. Also working with Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction on the project are Mobility Motoring, Boyer Young Real Estate and First National Bank.

An estimated 51.2 million Americans live with some level of disability, which means that roughly 18 percent of the population has unique safety and mobility needs at home, at work and throughout the community. “A barrier-free home makes sense for all kinds of individuals and families, regardless of their level of mobility. And whether people are looking to construct a new home or just begin a remodeling project, this home will offer simple, practical ways that can easily be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle,” said Hofer.

Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,200 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 8,400 employees. Alegent Health is making healthcare better with an exceptional commitment to quality and by providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems.