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Grace Ridge kick starts renovation
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Grace Ridge kick starts renovation

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Grace Ridge Groundbreaking Ceremony

Blue Ridge Health Care President and CEO Kathy Bailey speaks to residents, administrators and supporters of Grace Ridge retirement community at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday.

On Thursday afternoon, administrators, staff members, residents and supporters gathered at Grace Ridge retirement community to celebrate the groundbreaking of the facility’s extensive upcoming renovation project.

This massive $5 million renovation effort will create more communal space for residents and provide more space for administrative offices.

The first phase of the renovation will remodel and extend the covered driveway at the main entrance. It also will move the facility’s library to a new location in the building.

“The library houses almost 4,000 volumes and is organized like a traditional library,” said Brenda Yost, Grace Ridge executive director. “We are expanding the library space and moving it to a new location in the building.”

The current library is separated into two rooms that are across the hall from one another, and is operated by volunteer residents, some of which are retired librarians. Books are available for check out 24/7 and residents can check books out independently. The library is serving two purposes, as one of the rooms also acts as a place for residents to play cards.

“The bridge players would prefer to have their own space as opposed to playing in the library where people are checking out books,” Yost said. “When the new library is completed, there will be enough space for a separate room designated for bridge and other card games.”

The extended covered driveway at the main entrance and the relocation of the library will be the first of several phases of the renovation and are expected to be completed in the next 12-16 weeks.

“The plan is to have these two components of the project finished by Christmas,” said Yost. “We will take a break for the holidays, and the next mini-phase will be to address the lobby and the main dining room.”

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The administrative offices, currently located on the building’s main floor, will be moved up to the second level. The remaining space on the main floor will then be renovated and utilized as shared space for residents to enjoy together.

“We will also have a new area off of the lobby that’s going to be called a reading room,” said Yost. “We will have a newspaper and magazine table, seating, magazine racks and a small fireplace. Some people might say it will be more like a parlor.”

The main floor project will incorporate the design and development of an additional dining room facility.

“The new dining area will be more like a bistro or a sandwich shop,” Yost said. “At that time we will also be expanding the residents’ mailroom.”

The building’s chapel, currently located on the fourth floor, will be moved to a more central location on the second floor.

“We have 12 resident committees that are very much involved in everything that goes on here, and one of those is the spiritual life committee,” said Yost. “That committee will be heavily involved with finalizing plans for the new chapel.”

The building features presently a television room, in which residents can enjoy a large television and several comfortable sofas. The renovation plan will knock out a wall to expand this space and will feature “true movie theater seats,” according to Yost.

The expansive renovation project is an effort to create a more comfortable, enjoyable and spacious atmosphere for Grace Ridge residents.

“Everyone likes to update their home every now and then. Paint the walls, replace the floor, get new furniture and keep everything up to date,” Yost said. “We want to modernize the facility for our residents and improve attractiveness for visitors and potential residents.”

While the first phase of renovation is expected to conclude by Christmas, the project is expected to take 15-18 months to complete. For more information on the Grace Ridge renovation project, call the sales office at 828-580-8330.

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