Fitness center, deck part of project for assisted living community on west side

SANDUSKY The Commons of Providence plans to break ground next week on a $500,000 project that will give
May 24, 2010



The Commons of Providence plans to break ground next week on a $500,000 project that will give its residents a place to gather, socialize and exercise.

The assisted living and retirement community has plans to build a clubhouse that will cover more than 4,000 square feet of the property's northwest end. The clubhouse will include a fitness center, a game room, a meeting room with a capacity of more than 100 people, a fireplace, comfortable furniture and a cappuccino and coffee machine.

Also slated for construction is a deck overlooking the property's 5.5-acre pond, a pavilion with a gas grill and a paved three-quarter mile walking path.

Executive director Steve Terrell hopes residents will gain lifelong learning, socialization and wellness experiences with the new expansion.

The clubhouse will cater the nearly 200 residents at the Commons and an additional 130 residents at Providence Care Center located on Hayes Avenue. Family members and non-profits will also be welcome to use the facility.

The groundbreaking will begin at 1:30 p.m. May 8 with representatives from the Sisters of St. Francis, local officials and authorities expected to attend. The Sisters of St. Francis have served the health care needs of the area for nearly 80 years with Providence Hospital, which was sold and is now known as the Firelands Regional Medical Center South Campus.

Since 2001, officials have contemplated the idea of expanding the community by building a clubhouse. Six years later, the concept is turning into reality. Movie nights, health seminars and family events are just a few things the facility is planning.

"It's finally coming to fruition," said director of marketing Jane Windisch.

In the past decade, the Commons has grown to include an assisted living residence, a specialized assisted living facility and an independent living complex. The expansion is slated to be complete by the end of the year.

"The residents are very excited about it," Terrell said.