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Expansion aims to improve quality of life at Baden center

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Villa St. Joseph officials are hoping an upcoming expansion project will help further their mission of providing compassionate care in the community.

Construction at the Baden facility, which is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph that provides long-term nursing care, hospice care and rehabilitation services for residents and outpatients, is scheduled to begin in May. The project includes expanding the cafe area and creating a new space on the second floor, which will be used primarily for outpatient therapy.

Villa St. Joseph Director of Development Ray Niedenberger said the current first floor will double its size when the project is completed in fall.

The current space only is large enough to accommodate four round tables and a food counter. The cafe closes after 2 p.m. on most days.

Villa St. Joseph board President Gary Chace said when it's completed, the new space will remain open 24 hours each day. When it's not being used as a cafe, it will provide a gathering space for residents, where they can socialize or entertain friends and family.

Chace said they are hoping to use the space for exercise sessions and other programs that would be of interest to the Villa St. Joseph community.

“We're looking to work with different organizations in the community that would like to use the space for wellness activity,” he said.

On the second floor, directly above the cafe, a 2,500-square-foot room will be built to expand the rehabilitation services department. The new outpatient area will help to meet growing demand for outpatient therapy in the area and will provide physical, occupational, speech and neurologic music therapy services, Chace said.

The cost of the project is $800,000, which includes $700,000 for construction and $100,000 for new kitchen and rehabilitation equipment and furnishings, Niedenberger said. The project will be funded through a combination of private donations, grants and other revenues.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for May 2.

Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405.bweb.com.

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