Design Decisions: A modernized makeover

Lourdes Senior Community is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace and recently completed a $10 million renovation. Private rooms, a larger gym and two bariatric rooms are among the new features.
Lourdes Senior Community is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace and recently completed a $10 million renovation. Private rooms, a larger gym and two bariatric rooms are among the new features.

With the opening of its new Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center addition, Lourdes Senior Community in Waterford, MI, has stepped into the 21st century. 

By creating an open floor plan, greatly expanding physical therapy space and installing 50 new private rooms, the organization has given the 50-year-old facility the cosmetic and functional upgrades it needs to be relevant in the modern age.

“We realized there were some things we needed to do,” Administrator Shela Myrick says. “The board and CEO recognized the need to modernize the property and we went ahead with doing that in order to better accommodate our residents.”

Situated on 33 wooded acres with a lake in the countryside outside Detroit, Lourdes is home to 250 seniors in four buildings. Besides the short- and long-term care in the rehabilitation center, the grounds also include Fox Manor on the Lake (independent living), Mendelson Home Assisted Living and Clausen Manor Memory Care. Lourdes is sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sister Maureen Comer is Lourdes' CEO.

The $10 million multi-phased project took nearly 20 months to complete. It consisted of demolishing part of the existing structure, building a 38,000-square-foot addition, renovating 14,000 square feet on the main level and adding a 5,000-square-foot attached basement. The main challenge, says project manager Adam Gut, was integrating the addition with the existing building.

“There were some tricky portions getting the infrastructure parts lined up right — the plumbing, electrical and mechanical components,” says Gut, who oversaw the project with supervisor Mark Chase for general contractor Frank Rewold and Son. “Overall, it wasn't too problematic and we were able to complete the project on time.”

The addition, which opened in late September, addresses several critical needs for Lourdes' short- and long-term residents, especially for rehab and restorative services, Myrick says.

“The gym was very small — we needed a much bigger area for therapy, as well as for life skills for residents who are transitioning back home,” she says. “Now there is space for all the therapy equipment as well as for resident training in cooking, dishwashing and laundry.”

Private rooms with individual baths were also a priority with the project, Myrick says, because privacy has become paramount with the next generation of seniors. Further, recognizing bariatric residents have special needs, Lourdes also installed two bariatric rooms in addition to the regular rooms.

The renovation also provided the opportunity to implement new technology for therapy, operations, administration and security. Gut calls it “state of the art” and “in line with the trends.”

Ultimately, the new design fits the Lourdes person-centered care model, Myrick says, and the new building gives staff “an even greater place to shine.”