A Carson City family donated another $1 million to cover the construction of 15 cottages on the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center campus for patients undergoing heart surgery or cancer treatment.
The Merriner family made the donation this week, which follows its first $1 million donation in spring 2004 and a $50,000 donation for the planning and architectural drawings of the cottages.
Pam Graber, Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare Foundation executive director, said this donation fully funds the construction cost of the cottages.
"We are proud to have Ruth and the Merriner family," she said. "They are our highest level donor as of this second pledge. They're a delightful group of people to work with."
The foundation's next goal is to raise $200,000 for the interior design and furnishing of the cottages.
Each cottage will be about 640 square feet and will contain a bedroom, kitchen, dining and living room area. The Merriner Cottages will be located beside the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center off Medical Parkway in North Carson City. Patients will pay on a sliding fee scale to stay in the cottages.
When completed in fall 2006, the 38,000-square-foot Carson Tahoe Cancer Center will be the state's only accredited cancer center.
The center will have medical and radiation oncology departments, the Cancer Resource Center, patient support groups and alternative therapy, including art and yoga classes.
Ruth Merriner, who lives part-time in Carson City, and her four children, Audrey, Patti, Richard and Wayne, decided to fund the construction of the cottages in memory of her husband Delbert Merriner, who died of cancer.
Mark Gonda, project manager for contractor Metcalf Builders, said the 15 cottages will be completed by July 10. Patient use will begin in mid-August.
"We've had a few issues with the weather," he said about the project, which broke ground on Nov. 14. "Site work is difficult to do in wet weather. We anticipate being able to get through that quickly in the next month."
Subcontractors are working on a six-foot tall retaining wall that that stretches about 700 feet on the north end of the project.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.