St. Monica Manor, a Catholic healthcare facility owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and located at 2509 S. Fourth Street, is undergoing complete renovation and expansion. The nursing facility will expand to the adjacent school, Our Lady of Mount Caramel Elementary, which has been rehabbed to provide a new residential unit wing as well as a new chapel and physical therapy facility. The primary goal for the project was to change the existing four-person residential rooms into single- and double-occupancy rooms, which will allow for residents to have additional personal space and privacy.
According to Gabriel Deck, a LEED designer at WRT Design (the architect for the project), the renovation/expansion of St. Monica Manor is an effort by Catholic Health Care Services to bring the facility up to speed with today’s standard care practices, along with creating a more home-like setting for its residents. In addition to providing a more comfortable set-up for those that reside in the nursing facility, WRT has implemented many sustainable features where they could, to make the transformation as eco-friendly as possible.
Included in these sustainable features are eco-friendly interior finishes and better insulation for the newly rehabbed residential wing, giving it much more thermal efficiency than it had previously possessed. Additional eco-friendly amenities include sunshades for the major residential outdoor spaces (this will help with resident comfort as well as cut down on the amount of direct sun that enters interior spaces), and the new chapel (formerly the elementary’s gymnasium) will contain multiple stained glass works that have been saved from other places of worship that have closed. The project is keeping its environmental impact to a minimum, adding only 2,800 square feet of new construction in order to connect the two existing buildings.
It seems as though this will be a great addition to the community as it will provide more opportunities in long-term care and short term rehabilitation. Judging by the fact that John Wagner (director of project development for Catholic Health Care Services) sees it a fit place for his own mother, we can’t help but think that St. Monica Manor provides adequate care for those in the community that seek their assistance.
The $17 million project is set to be finished and ready for unveiling by early next year. —-Kaitlin Bostwick