By Charles Feldman
Plans to build 315 senior dwelling units for people aged 55 and older that were approved by the village on July 9 last year have been canceled by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield stated on a donations web page early last week, “Despite your generosity and that of many others in the Alton Deanery and the hard work of many talented people who worked diligently to mitigate risks and re-engineer the project, the unexpected costs and risks made the project untenable for the diocese to pursue. In light of the cancellation of the project, we have created a process for your gift to be refunded or reassigned.”
He went on to state that all future pledge payments are no longer applicable and all recurring gifts will be cancelled as of Friday, February 14.
“Any past donations will either be refunded to you or redirected, according to your intention,” he wrote.
Divine Mercy, formerly known as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield Senior Living Facility, would have been built near Father McGivney Catholic High School. The development’s entrance would have been aligned with that of the Fairfield Subdivision on Bouse Road north of the site.
Phase I of the canceled section plan included the creation of two pocket neighborhoods consisting of 12 cottage homes designed as cluster homes in two groups of six (to be eventually expanded to 132 units in 22 clusters of six); 102 independent living apartments; 37 assisted living apartments; 32 memory care units; and a town center building with a chapel, dining, activity, fitness/wellness and administrative spaces.
The groundbreaking was scheduled last fall but was delayed due to unforseen costs, said the statement.
The Diocese sent a press release about the cancellation to several local newspapers early last week.
Several attempts to reach a representative at the Diocese of Springfield were unsuccessful.