A continuing care retirement community marked the completion of an $8.5 million extensive renovation and construction project at its South Whitehall Township campus Wednesday.
Luther Crest dedicated its new memory care center, along with extensive renovations to its personal care and health care centers, at a celebratory event at Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries senior living community at 800 Hausman Road.
Luther Crest residents and families raised more than $1 million in a capital campaign, said Lin Ferrol, Luther Crest executive director. The Diakon fundraising board approved construction costs were $7.5 million to renovate the existing health center and personal care areas.
The project represented the final parts of a multiyear repositioning effort. The end result transformed the health care rooms and common areas from a traditional medical model to a residential concept. The project updated interior finishes in 45 skilled care and 30 personal care suites, as well as in hallways, dining rooms, common areas, therapy and medical rooms, nursing stations and bathing areas.
The work included the addition of a 3,100-square-foot country kitchen and accommodations to expand memory supportive-care services, said William Swanger, senior vice president of Diakon corporate communications.
Efforts also included the renovation of all apartments, building new apartments, construction of new cottage-homes and building a wellness center with a cardio-focused fitness center and indoor pool and spa, Swanger said.
The memory care center includes a dining area with an oven for residents to bake food, play a piano and do other activities. A television screen shows residents what events are happening elsewhere on campus, and staff is on site to help them, according to Dianne Kareha, Diakon chaplain for Luther Crest.
“We wanted to make sure you had a place to stay where you feel safe and comfortable,” Mark Pile, president and CEO of Diakon, told residents. “Our real blessing is our staff.”
Project renovations and construction won an Excellence in Construction Award from Associated Builders & Contractors Keystone Chapter, Ferrol said.
Benchmark Construction Co. of Brownstown, Lancaster County, the construction management firm for the project, received the award in the “Residential Renovation, Multi-Unit” category, Swanger said.
Stewart & Conners Architects of North Carolina designed the Luther Crest project.
The winners are eligible to enter at the national level and compete against projects from all 70 ABC chapters, according to Swanger.
The campus now has 13 beds in memory support personal care, 15 beds in traditional personal care and 60 beds in the health care (long-term care center), with 280 apartments and cottages and about 410 residents, Swanger said.