CLINTON — Lemke Funeral Homes is building a new facility on the northwest end of Clinton Lawn Cemetery. The new location will replace its existing building at 2600 Lincoln Way, which has been sold to Gateway State Bank.

The new, larger facility is slated to open in October.

George Lemke, co-owner of Lemke Funeral Homes, explained that when the existing location was purchased by his company, modifications were made to the building to best suit the funeral home’s needs. However, the facility left much to be desired.

“I didn’t like the floor plan,” Lemke said. “I wanted a larger chapel area so ... everybody could physically see and hear the minister.”

The funeral home’s location, along busy U.S. 30, eventually proved to be problematic as well.

“The noise got too busy over the last few years,” Lemke explained. “You hear the semi Jake Brakes and the loud noise, and I wanted a more peaceful setting.”

The new facility will attempt to convey the same warmth and atmosphere at Lemke’s other location in north Clinton.

“People have really commented about how welcome they feel (at the north location),” Lemke explained. “And so, that’s what we’re trying to do is set a nice atmosphere for that.”

“It’ll have a lot of the same feeling and character as the north funeral home at 2304 N. Second St.,” he added.

The new funeral home will be significantly larger than the existing facility.

“The chapel space — we did have the largest chapel anyway already — but we’ve gone from being able to seat 175 to close to 300,” Lemke said.

In addition to larger seating capacity, the new facility will feature a variety of amenities designed for beauty and comfort.

“It’ll have a park-like setting,” Lemke said. “It’ll face a one-acre pond. There will be a very large parking lot and off-street parking. And a circle drive around the funeral home so you don’t have to get out in the rain.”

“Plus we have additional visitation rooms, for more private visitations,” he added. “Totally handicap accessible, and it’ll be very comfortable.”

Lemke also announced the Clinton Lawn Cemetery Beautification Project. As part of the project, all of the streets inside the cemetery will be paved by the winter.

Meanwhile, Gateway State Bank will work to renovate the location at 2600 Lincoln Way for a new bank office, its third location in Clinton.

The new bank office is scheduled to open in mid-2008. The 5,900-square-foot facility will include a full-service main lobby, a drive-up automatic teller machine and three drive-through lanes.

Gateway State Bank has two other locations in Clinton, at 1427 N. Second St., and 620 S. Second St.

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