SOUTH BEND - Nearly 16 years ago, the Sisters of the Holy Cross built a tunnel leading nowhere.
It began at Sanctuary at Holy Cross, a nonprofit nursing care and rehabilitation community in South Bend, and they hoped that someday it would attach to a rehabilitation center.
That day will be soon.
Sanctuary at Holy Cross plans to open its new Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at the other end of that tunnel next summer.
The $12.5 million expansion will house 48 private suites, a state-of-the-art therapy gym, a therapy pool, a spa, salon and chapel, according to administrator Linda Lewis.
“It will serve South Bend and the surrounding community,” she said of the senior-focused center.
“Anybody who requires a skilled nursing stay.”
Sanctuary at Holy Cross has 20 therapists on staff and is looking at staffing plans for the new center. One of the new hires, Lewis said, will be a wellness coordinator who will work with people to help them manage their health.
The coordinator will even help clients with planning exercise programs for after they return home.
“It’s not set up like a traditional nursing home with long hallways,” Lewis said. “It will have beautiful common areas for dining and hearth rooms.”
It also will have wireless for those who want to be connected to the Internet.
Currently Sanctuary at Holy Cross has 120 beds and serves between 107 and 111 seniors every day. Around 40 of those are clients in short-term rehabilitation.
“We do a lot of short-term rehab. That’s why they felt the need to expand and make it a state-of-the-art facility,” Lewis said.
Today, they will have a blessing of the ground service on the construction site - right over the location of the future cafe.
Several of the Sisters of the Holy Cross will be there.
“It’s really neat for them to be able to see the vision they have come to life and for (us) to be able to honor that,” Lewis said. “We are so excited about it; it’s a wonderful thing to bring to this community,”