By Chad Koenen
A vacant building that was once a hub for activity in Henning, will get a sec-ond chance at life.
The former nursing home/rehab center has re-cently been sold to Ron and Jewel Wacker, who have plans to renovate the build-ing into an apartment com-plex. While their plan is to eventually remodel the building into 12 two bed-room and 1 one bedroom apartments, over the next few months the Wacker’s will rent out the former nursing home to Strom En-gineering for short term em-ployee housing.
After recently purchasing the building, Jewel Wacker said they were planning to start the renovation process for 13 apartments when the weather was unseasonably warm. That’s when a series of events occurred that pre-vented them from getting the initial gutting of the property started.
Jewel said that’s when she received a call from an employee at Lunds/Bruns-wick who said they would be interested in renting the building for some of its em-ployees.
“For some weird reasons we weren’t able to get in here. A week later one of the Lund employees called us and said I heard about a building you have in Henning.”Jewel Wacker
As the old saying goes, ev-erything happens for a rea-son. The Wacker’s were put in contact with Strom En-gineering Company, which is based in the Twin Cities, who expressed an interest in renting out 30 rooms at the former nursing home for its workers that come from across the country.
Lamonte Hunter, who will be living at the former nursing home and manag-ing the facility, said renters come from places like Mi-ami, Texas, as well as North and South Carolina and more.
Currently, the workers live in hotels during the week and often times get kicked out of the rooms on the weekends when the rooms are needed for visi-tors in the area. Hunter said the Lunds employees are ex-cited about the opportunity to have a place to call home and unwind after working at the New York Mills boat manufacturer for the day.
“They are super excited,” he said. “It will just be like a nice little community.”
Jewel Wacker said each room will have a microwave, fridge and TV. They will also have dining rooms, common areas and common kitch-ens. Jewel said she has met ﬁ ve of the employees who will be living at the former nursing home and she said they are nice people. In fact, she said they even helped to move some of the beds and furniture around on their day off .
“We met ﬁve of them and they are excellent, they are very nice,” she said.
The newest residents of Henning will be moving in as soon as the week of July 12. Jewel Wacker said the old nursing home will provide housing for Lunds/Bruns-wick employees through at least the end of the year.