The upcoming expansion at Glenaire has generated much excitement, and with good reason. However, that’s only part of the story. A major renovation is also underway in the community center, and together with the expansion, it will give current and new residents more choices than ever.
Planning for both the renovations and the expansion began more than four years ago. According to Hank Lovvorn, COO of The Presbyterian Homes, Inc. (PHI), and Interim Executive Director at Glenaire, the organization realized early on that the two projects should be designed and planned in parallel.
“It became clear that the amenity spaces, dining and other spaces are needed to complement each other,” explains Hank. “We are one community and it is important for the residents to have access to opportunities throughout our campus.”
The renovations to the existing community center at Glenaire began in July and will include significant enhancements to the dining experience for current and future residents. The main dining room, private dining room and kitchen will all receive major changes focusing on creating more choices and a more restaurant-like service.
The main dining room will be expanded and transformed from buffet-style to table service. The current private dining room will become a lounge with a full bar and its own grille menu. To support the new experience, the kitchen will undergo a complete remodel to accommodate cooked-to-order meal service and will include an open, finishing kitchen where residents can see the food being freshly prepared to serve.
With these changes and the three new dining venues in the upcoming expansion, residents will have six unique dining options on campus — each with its own style and menu.
Other enhancements include improvements to the rotunda and lobby space to make it more open and welcoming. The auditorium will get several audio/visual upgrades and be re-oriented without a stage as more of a multi-purpose room. A new, 350-seat auditorium will be part of the expansion with full, theater-quality lighting, sound and capabilities, along with a performance stage.
Aside from adding 192 spacious apartment homes, “the expansion is also about creating opportunities for current and future residents,” says Hank. “There will be two large courtyards on the north and south sides (of the expansion) including spaces for outdoor dining, gathering and even a small performance space.”
The expansion will also include a wellness center, its own independent 25,000-square-foot building, with new, larger locker rooms, physical therapy space, fitness and exercise spaces, walking track, indoor sports court, spin room, spa services and more. The center will build on the programming, pool and other amenities that the existing wellness center already has to offer.
“Our goal is to position Glenaire for the future in a good way, by creating these new, fun amenities and opportunities for the residents to continue to create their own quality of life, which has really been the history here,” Hanks says. “The residents here have a sense of ownership of the community.”
This history of residents building and determining their own quality of life has also applied to the planning for the renovation and expansion. “We really engaged our residents in this process,” says Hank. “It’s been very inclusive. It’s not just what we think they want. But what our residents and residents of the future say they want. We intentionally took longer in the design phase so we could include the residents in the process.”
The enhancements and expansion are timely changes that also match well with what new and future residents are looking for in CCRCs. Wellness and diet have become more important to residents than ever. And Glenaire’s residents in particular have always looked to have more options and opportunities for involvement both in and outside the community.
“The renovation and expansion will give residents the spaces and amenities they need to create community themselves,” continues Hank. “This represents a significant investment in Glenaire’s future, fulfilling and expanding the mission of PHI and Glenaire for both current and future residents.
“We’re taking a 27-year history and building on it to ensure the next 27, or the next 50 years of Glenaire here in the Triangle.”
The renovation project is scheduled to run through August of 2021. However, the dining room and kitchen remodeling is on track to be completed much earlier in the year. Construction on the expansion is slated to start early this fall, with completion scheduled for early 2023.