New Beacon House to be located on UPHS-Marquette campus

MARQUETTE — Through a property lease agreement with UP Health System-Marquette, the Beacon House is planning to construct its new building near the intersection of Seventh and Spring streets in Marquette.

The agreement was announced Wednesday at an event for the Beacon House’s seventh annual U.P. Celebrity Golf Classic, which is taking place today at the Heritage and Greywalls golf courses in Marquette.

“There’s a lot to be determined still, but the most important decision has fortunately been made and that’s that Duke LifePoint has really stepped up to the plate,” Beacon House CEO Mary Dowling said.

UP Health System-Marquette, a subsidiary of Duke LifePoint, will lease a portion of its new hospital property to the Beacon House for $1 per year. The existing hospital, situated along College Avenue, has 21 beds in 11 rooms to provide close proximity for emergencies and critical situations, according to information included in a packet on the golf event. But the new hospital, under construction along Baraga Avenue, won’t have any hospitality rooms.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce the new location of the Beacon House. They provide a critical service for the residents of the Upper Peninsula during their time of need,” said Victor Harrington, UP Health System’s regional director of marketing and business development. “Extended stays while receiving health care is incredibly stressful. Having the hospitality house in close proximity to the new hospital will hopefully help alleviate some of that stress for patients and their families.”

The Beacon House began a $6.2 million capital campaign last year to raise money needed for the new hospitality house. But Dowling said she hopes they will be able to keep construction costs as low as possible so that more money can go into the organization’s endowment and support ongoing operations.

“To spend the minimal but to get something new and efficient, that’s what we’re really shooting for,” she said.

Dowling said when she first learned the hospital was going to relocate its operations, there was some concern of how the Beacon House would be able to serve the patients who need to be close to the hospital.

“We held our breath,” she said. “Now we know that’s not going to be a problem. We’re going to have a presence … close to the hospital and that will make a big difference.”

Dowling said the city of Marquette will have to approve the lease agreement, due to stipulations imposed on the property, but she’s confident the city will support the arrangement.

The existing Beacon House, located at 1301 N. Third St., was formerly a hotel, Dowling said, and many of the rooms aren’t handicap accessible.

She said with the new building to be built from scratch, it will allow the Beacon House to better design the facility and serve patients and their families.

When the campaign was launched last year, the Beacon House intended to open its new facility at the same time as the hospital, in late 2018, but Dowling said that it may be delayed considering the timing of the recent property agreement.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His email address is rjarvi@miningjournal.net.