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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Project under way to modernize Catholic Care Center

By Jerry Siebenmark
The Wichita Eagle

Catholic Care Center has begun the last phase of a multi-year, three-phase project to modernize its 178-bed nursing center.

When complete, the approximately nine-month, $2.17 million project will bring some services closer to its residents.

Tom Church, Catholic Care’s CEO, said Tuesday that the project involves separating a wing that houses 60 residents into two neighborhoods. Each neighborhood — comprising about 30 residents each — will have its own dining and living areas fashioned into a homelike setting.

“They’ll have that space right in their proximity, as opposed to having to go down long corridors,” Church said.

The project also includes the construction of a new hallway to Catholic Care’s St. Elizabeth Chapel, a new therapy center and construction of four new private resident rooms to replace those lost to the construction of the neighborhood dining and living rooms.

“We’ve been committed to provide a better environment for our residents,” Church said, adding that the project to modernize its three-wing nursing center started in 2006.

Simpson Construction Services is the general contractor, and GLMV is the architect.

Church said that with the final phase of the project now under way, he and Catholic Care staff are looking at what they can do with what will soon be unused space at the nursing center, such as the large dining area.

“We’re working on a conceptual redesign,” he said. “We don’t have anything set yet.”

It’s not the only construction project under way at Catholic Care, 6700 E. 45th St. North in Bel Aire.

At Shepherd’s Crossing, Catholic Care’s adjacent independent-living development with 30 residences, four new homes are under construction, Church said.

Catholic Care also has 60 assisted-living apartments and a 40-person memory care unit.

The organization is a joint venture of Via Christi Villages and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. It has about 360 employees.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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