Expansion adds skilled nursing to Via Christi Villages on Ridge Road

06/29/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:17 AM

Via Christi Villages is wrapping up a $13million, 72,000-square-foot expansion at 3636 N. Ridge Road.

The construction, slated to be complete by the end of August, will add 80 private skilled-nursing beds to the existing 60 assisted-living units at the site, said Jerry Carley, CEO of Via Christi Villages.

The facility on Ridge was built in 2003. The land next to it was where Via Christi’s west-side hospital, now on St. Teresa, was originally going to be located, Carley said.

But eventually, some of the land was sold to build St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Carley said.

As for the rest of the land, Carley said Via Christi Villages offered the idea of expanding services on the property to skilled nursing.

Someday, it also hopes to add independent-living apartments, he said.

“We feel that the continuum of care provides a lot of value for those folks that are living in a senior care community,” Carley said.

The site lends itself to future intergenerational activities, Carley said, because it’s next to St. Catherine of Siena, which will eventually include a school with students in grades kindergarten through eight.

“We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be an interesting project if we were to build a senior care community that was adjacent to a new west-side Catholic parish and we keep that Catholic identity and have some intergenerational work amongst the groups?’” Carley said.

Inside the skilled-nursing expansion, the idea is to create a small-town downtown vibe.

“When you walk into the main entrance it’s going to look like you’re walking into a downtown area with a beauty shop, city hall for conferences and roof lines inside that mimic a cityscape,” Carley said.

There will also be a bistro, and the 80 units will be parceled into 20-unit “neighborhoods,” each with its own common dining, kitchen and living areas.

“In many cases when someone is living there, they can’t drive, they can’t get out like they used to, so our whole concept is we want to bring the life they’re used to to them,” Carley said.

All the rooms are private and have their own bathrooms. Most also have their own showers, Carley said.

Among all of Via Christi Villages’ 14 facilities, there are approximately 1,700 residents, Carley said.

About 120 part- and full-time employees will work in the new skilled-nursing unit.

There are about 1,500 employees in Via Christi’s Villages’ owned or managed facilities, Carley said. Via Christi Villages, he said, is the only part of Via Christi that also provides services outside Kansas, in Ponca City, Okla.

The project’s contractor is Simpson Construction, and GLMV is project architect.

Via Christi is taking reservations for interested residents. For more information, call 316-462-3636.

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