Using four shovels from previous groundbreaking ceremonies, officials with the residential nursing care and rehabilitation center turned the dirt on Friday in symbolic preparation for a 2,500 square-foot building addition.
"Since we opened in February of 1997, we have provided care to 3,900 residents," said Gary Chace, president of the board of the directors.
The outpatient therapy department, located on the second floor, helps individuals achieve optimal function to live life fully. The new space will provide physical, occupational, speech and neurological music therapy services for adults to meet the needs of people in the community.
Sis. Mary Pellegrino, congregational moderator at the Sisters of St. Joseph, said the first sisters arrived in 1901 and they have since called the Baden location home. In the mid-1990s, while trying to decide on providing care for the sisters, she said they realized a unique opportunity to provide for others in the region who needed long-term care.
"Since then, the Villa has become an extension of our home," Pellegrino said.
The first floor café will be enlarged to serve more people and provide a new gathering space for residents, families and staff. The area will be redesigned so that it may be used to offer wellness education programs for the community.
Mary Murray, executive director, said the building addition is the latest example of the Villa’s desire to broaden its mission outreach and its traditional of compassionate care and rehabilitation excellence.
"This expansion is going to allow us to serve more persons in our local communities and the outpatient rehabilitation services. It will also allow us to provide meaningful wellness, educational and social programs for our local communities because of our expanded cafe."
The project is expected to be complete by October and will be funded by grants, private donations and other revenue. The building addition was designed by Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and will be built by Mistick Construction Co.
Villa St. Joseph, established in 1997, continues the Sisters of St. Joseph’s long tradition of loving service to neighbors in need. The Villa has a 15-member board of directors, 220 employees and 80 volunteers and auxiliary members.
When she came to the Villa nine years ago, Yvonne Simon, director of rehabilitation services, said there were about 12 short-term residents a day and fewer outpatients a day. The numbers continued to increase, she said.
The staff cares for as many as 120 residents at a time and provides medical and therapeutic services for more than 400 people over the course of a year.
"We have literally outgrown our walls," Simon said.
Senator Elder Vogel, who represents the local area, said his grandfather spent some time in the Alzheimer's wing of the facility, which he said is well used and respected.
"It's a great new undertaking," said Vogel, R-New Sewickley, who attended the groundbreaking. "They're a great asset to the community."
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