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RACINE — The eastern arrangement room at Sturino Funeral Home feels like a classic home office, with dark wooden furniture, comfortable chairs and even a grandfather clock.

Its hard to believe that a year ago, that space was the shrubbery just outside the wall.

Sturino Funeral Home, 3014 Northwestern Ave., just finished a major addition and renovation that added 1,205 square feet to the front of the facility. Owner Darryl Sturino and his staff were happy to show it off during an open house on Sunday.

Sturino, who came to work at the building in 1989 when it was Hanson Funeral Home and has owned the business since 2007, said that it was important to him that the addition fit in with the rest of the historic building,which was built as a home in 1906.

“It all blends. It’s still a home,” he said. “It’s not a stark, cold building, it has a warm feeling.”

The recently finished renovations included upgrades to improve accessibility. The front entrance of the building used to have stairs, which were challenging for those with mobility issues. Now the front drive pulls right up to the double-door entrance.

The restrooms were also expanded and upgraded to be handicap-accessible.

The additional space is being used for a larger reception area with a new fireplace and two arrangement rooms for meetings.

One room also has a glass window looking into the adjacent chapel and speakers that broadcast from the chapel. That way if young children aren’t able to stay quiet, their parents can take them into the room and still hear and watch the service.

RJ Adel, project manager with Racine-based Bukacek construction said the project started last August and was just wrapped up in mid-March. In addition to the extension, Adel said they did quite a bit of remodeling to update the facility’s decor.

Sturino said he is very pleased with the renovations.

“It all blends. It’s still a home. It’s not a stark, cold building, it has a warm feeling.” Darryl Sturino, funeral director

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Christina Lieffring covers the Burlington area and the Village of Caledonia. Before moving to Racine, she lived in Nebraska, Beijing, Chicago and grew up in Kansas City.

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