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Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society Headquarters
Landscape Architecture by Stockwell Engineers, Inc.




The Ryan Building patio at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society Headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D., overlooks a central pond. The 42" LED matte black finish bollards provide ambient light for the patio. The hardscape is decomposed granite and quartzite bordered with 2'x 2'x 2" quartzite pavers with a flame finish. The pavers directly link to every other column in the building fa?ade. 'Shademaster' honeylocust trees bring afternoon shade. 'Prairie Purple' coneflower, 'Pardon Me' daylily and ornamental grasses ('Flame' grass and 'Blues Little' bluestem) soften the edge of the pond's retaining wall.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society was founded by Reverend August Hoeger in 1922. The Society opened its first home in 1923 in Arthur, North Dakota. Today, the Society asserts it is the nation's largest nonprofit, owner-operator of senior living facilities. A paper published in Distributed Diagnosis and Home Healthcare in 2006 reported the Society employed over 24,000 people, operated more than 250 facility locations in 24 states and served some 28,000 residents.

The recent expansion and updates for the national corporate campus headquarters of the Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, South Dakota provide a beautiful, functional and relaxing environment for the organization's staff and visitors that integrates the campus architecture and other existing amenities.

This 2015 project expanded and updated a campus that began in 1989 with the purchase of a former bankcard processing facility. The site's first campus expansion occurred in 2001 with additional facilities that would provide a retreat and training facility for the leaders of the organization's workforce.



The amphitheater is a natural extension of the recently renovated Jerstad Center Building. Landscape beds and large quartzite blocks retain earth and provide seating. Daylilies provide summer blooms, while 'Burning Bush' and honey locust trees provide bight and contrasting color in the fall. Nearly 140 trees and over 4,000 shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses were planted.

With the needs of the Good Samaritan Society's facility changing ed and grown to require major facility and grounds improvements and expansions.

The Society's desire for a staff centric yet efficient work environment, along with a declining need for the retreat facility due to advances in communication technology as well as staff growth, gave rise to the need for campus additions and renovation. The project adds 90,000 square-feet of office space for 400 staff on campus and improves the grounds conditions for a workforce that is encouraged to spend time outside together in a neutral and relaxing environment, and at times, to reflect at one of the many secluded spaces or walking trails around the 30-acre campus.

Starting with the master plan, Stockwell assisted the owner in re-envisioning the outdoor campus to integrate elements along a looped trail system. Along the trail, users come across a secluded prayer garden centered around the statue of Jesus provided by Reverend A.J. Hoeger Sr. They will also find an outdoor amphitheater overlooking a central reflecting pond. Large native stone quartzite blocks retain earth across the sloping lawn, while creating seating for employees during the weekly chapel gatherings. Quartzite blocks also frame the main "performance area" that has been filled with pavers engraved with the names of past employees, giving patrons an opportunity to leave their physical mark and history on the site with a dedicated paver. Quartzite is a locally quarried stone that has differentiated the design in Sioux Falls for 150 years. The stone is found in abundance throughout the campus.



Framing the view are 'Swamp' white oaks, which form a grove on the southwestern portion of the pond. Native forbs and grasses provide a flush of color as a foreground to the Ryan Building. Among the prominent perennials are 'Bronze Beauty' carpet bugles, Matrona Stonecrop sedums, Black Eyed Susans, Wood's Blue asters, Prairie Purple coneflowers and 'Fanal' and 'Deutschland' astilbes.

Stockwell provided design services for site grading, utilities, pavement, landscaping and irrigation. The increased number of staff and facilities created the need for a redesigned and larger parking lot. Interior landscape islands create a visually appealing entrance into the site. Overstory trees work to add shade and keep the lot cooler in the summer. A new onsite stormwater area adjacent to the north parking lot highlights habitat with native plants and trees, which filter and slow stormwater runoff. This habitat, as well as the central reflection pond, is highly visible from the surrounding city roads and act as a stunning foreground to the campus.

The project included the construction of the new Ryan Building that frames the eastern edge of the expanded campus reflecting pond. Previously, the reflecting pond had only been bordered to the north and west. The Ryan Building enhances the sense of an embracing campus by wrapping around the east end of the pond. It develops a more permeable boundary between inside and out through extensive glass panels, encouraging staff to take advantage of the many outdoor amenities. It provides additional staff space, conference facilities, and a cafe/break area that spills out to an outdoor patio and tree grove that overlooks the reflecting pond. The patio is surfaced with quartzite pavers and crushed quartzite. These materials create a grid that visually ties it to the rest of the campus, while allowing water to permeate into the ground. Honeylocust trees are planted along the patio to create shade without providing too heavy of a canopy or leaf litter in the fall.


Beneath the shade of a 'Swamp' white oak, employees and visitors can take in the tranquil landscape of 'Spring Snow' crabapples, 'Butterfly Bush' honeysuckles and 'Walker's Low Catmints.'


Along the north side of the central pond, a sidewalk separated from the concrete wall of the pond by a narrow grass strip provides a straight-line connection from the chapel amphitheater and Jerstad patio in the east to the Ryan patio on the west. 'Little Devil' ninebark, 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry and 'Rocket City' daylilies provide year-round plant interest and provide a colorful background to the solid green and blue of the turf and pond.

The project also includes updates to the existing Jerstad Center Building, which borders the west edge of the reflection pond. The former hotel wing has been converted to a variety of staff resource areas including wellness, travel agent, counseling, conferencing and other amenities. Another hardscaped patio space and tree grove was placed along this building, once again overlooking the central reflecting pond. This patio is also constructed of quartzite pavers and crushed quartzite. The honeylocust trees have been planted directly into the patio in a grid where the crushed quartzite is used. This allows water to reach the tree's roots, allowing the patio to completely encompass the grove.

All of these elements together provide the Good Samaritan Society with a campus that is beautiful and functional. The spaces work together to create a relaxing and enjoyable environment that draws from the site architecture, while integrating the campus to its surroundings.

Project Team
o Client: Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society
o Landscape Architect: Stockwell Engineers, Inc.
o Architect: Koch Hazard Architects
o Civil Engineer: Stockwell Engineers, Inc.
o Structural Engineer: Structural Engineering Associates
o Electrical & Lighting Engineer: Associated Consulting Engineering, Inc.
o Mechanical Engineer: Associated Consulting Engineering, Inc.
o General Contractor: Gil Haugan Construction
o Landscape Contractor: Landscape Garden Centers

As seen in LASN magazine, April 2018.

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August 21, 2019, 1:30 am PDT

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