LACEY - The South Sound retirement destination known as Panorama celebrated on Friday the opening of its new Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center, a $22.5 million skilled nursing facility that will be home to 155 residents.
The opening is the most recent addition to the 140-acre Panorama campus since it opened a 206-seat auditorium in August 2009, President Joseph Di Santo said Friday.
Di Santo and other Panorama officials, as well as invited guests, mingled in the lobby Friday and offered tours of the new building. Panorama spent five years planning and building the convalescent center, with input from residents, after an earlier, similar facility on the same site had become outdated, Di Santo said.
“Everything is there,” he said about the finished product. “It’s the wish list plus more.”
The two-story building, which was financed with bonds, measures about 100,000 square feet.
In addition to being a skilled nursing facility, the building has an area that is reserved for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It also has a therapy gym, a beauty shop, restaurant-style dining rooms, visiting rooms and more room for staff members. Of Panorama’s 381 employees, 178 of them work in the new center.
Ten-year Panorama resident Bob Bowers, 75, said his wife, Beverly, 77, has moved into the new facility. He called the new center a vast improvement over the previous building, saying resident rooms are larger and the staff has more room. “There’s no comparison,” he said.
Margo Frere, 60, also passed through the new facility after she and her husband signed up Friday to move to Panorama once they are between the ages of 63 and 65. Frere, who lives in British Columbia, said her mother has lived at Panorama for five years and her father used to live there. In her view, Panorama offers residents convenience, security, a range of activities and help with banking services, for example, or other lifetime decisions, she said. Frere said she was impressed with the new facility.
Panorama, off Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey, has 860 homes and apartments. Most of its residents, about 1,100, live independently. There are also the 155 people who live in the new rehabilitation center and 48 people in assisted living, Di Santo said.