St. Leonard dedicates new senior wellness center
October 21, 2011
DAYTON DEANERY — St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community became the first in the Miami Valley to introduce a new holistic approach to wellness among seniors when the 22,000 square foot Franciscan Center was dedicated Sept. 15 with a special ribbon cutting ceremony.
The center, constructed in the heart of St. Leonard’s Centerville campus, a continuing care retirement community, features a day spa, full-service restaurant, aerobics studio, meditation, fitness and banquet rooms, a three-lane lap pool and warm water therapy pool. Each space is designed with many details seen in classic Franciscan architecture, including smooth stucco, exposed wooded trusses and large arched wood windows.
The $4 million project is designed for the entire Miami Valley community. Plans for the center emerged five years ago when residents began asking for increased aquatic facilities. This quickly evolved into something bigger as leaders at St. Leonard started to study the correlation between holistic health and long-term healthcare costs. Final blueprints called for not just a building, but for a place that would enable St. Leonard residents to live longer and more meaningful lives.
“While we wanted to meet the physical needs of seniors through amenities like the fitness room and pool, it was equally important to provide a place to gather, learn, grow and socialize,” said Debra Stewart, director of wellness at St. Leonard and manager of the new center. “Through this building, we are fostering a culture that prevents our residents from feeling self-contained to one where they remain part of the greater community.”
Steward envisions the center as a multi-generational gather place for area residents. The banquet hall will be open to community groups looking for a place to meet, and fitness facility memberships will be sold to those 55 years and above who want to work out among their peers. The restaurant, named the Station House after a train station formerly located nearby, will be open to any community member looking for a place to dine.
Russell Garber, vice president of Columbus-based Andrews Architects, which designed the building, said St. Leonard is one of only a few continuing care retirement communities in the state to build such a facility and noted a growing trend in senior living.
“Senior living communities grew out of the hospital model, and for a while, you couldn’t tell the difference between the two,” Garber said. “But over the years, our firm has watched the senior care industry move away from being a medical-based model to one that is focused on holistic care.”