Healthcare & Senior Living Architecture

Villa Maria Addition and Renovation

A Person-Centered Care Model

As a Catholic senior care facility, Villa Maria’s leaders had adopted a person-centered care model to provide a dignified, home-like environment for their residents. The original facility was built in 1976, but had its last update in the 1990s. Interior finishes were not only dated, but the building was worn-out, crowded and needing renovation to be ADA-compliant. It was far from the welcoming retreat that the Adorers of the Blood of Christ wanted for the residents in their care. So in 2016, WDM was retained to improve the long-term care facility.

WDM Architects team met with the Facility Administrator and Sister Fran Schumer, Executive Director, to tour and assess the existing building, collaboratively set goals for the project and explore various options.

“What most pleased me was WDM’s willingness to let us be part of the project,” commented Sister Fran on the experience. “WDM brought their professional expertise and they listened to us as they designed the project.”

Project Goals

  • Complete renovation and large addition
  • Provide 10 more private rooms
  • Provide more privacy in the semi-private rooms
  • More than double the physical therapy space and relocate it adjacent to entry for outpatient PT
  • Renovate kitchen with a better workflow
  • New addition to match the existing building

To meet these goals, Villa Maria needed a larger footprint. An existing house that was once used as a convent was demolished to make room for the nearly 15,000 s.f. addition. The facility also needed asbestos and mold remediation.

Multi-phased Project

When the project began, Villa Maria was fully occupied, but experienced a slight reduction in census during construction. The first phase focused on the construction of the new addition, and once finished, residents were moved out of one wing at a time into newly finished areas.

WDM hired Pintail Food Service Consulting to recommend an improved workflow for the commercial kitchen. It was gutted and reconfigured with new appliances and a pantry nearly twice the original size.

Improvement #1: Brighter Environments

Villa Maria’s leaders wanted brighter lighting levels and 4000K color sources throughout for the comfort and safety of aging residents. As an example, WDM renovated the previously underlit dining room with recessed lighting that would produce less glare and higher footcandles than the previous surface-mounted flourescent fixtures. WDM chose Luxury Vinyl Tile that was not only lighter in color, but also chosen to reflect light.

Improvement #2: Secure Access to the Outdoors

A new, paved oval walk-about garden was created outside the Memory Care area on the south east of the building. The area is protected by a fence and mature shade trees. The large addition along Highway 53, or Main Street, gives Villa Maria more visibility in the community. A branded masonry monument sign is flanked by new landscape features.

Improvement #3: Bigger Bathrooms

Before the renovation, en suite bathrooms were difficult to navigate with wheelchairs or walkers and a challenge for staff to assist when needed. The new baths have a full 60-inch clearance for increased accessibility and safety. Private rooms’ showers are now larger, “transfer” showers without curbs that could potentially become trip hazards.

Additionally, renovated Central Bathing rooms have “roll-in” showers that can accommodate wheelchairs.

Improvement #4: More Private Rooms

As a licensed 64-bed facility, Villa Maria reduced the number of semi-private rooms from 30 to 25 to offer more private rooms, expanding from 4 to 14.

Improvement #5: Putting the Private in Semi-Private

Residents in semi-private rooms had approximately 112-s.f. to call their own in a shared room with a small half-bath in the corner. Though a curtain could be pulled to divide the room, there was little privacy and virtually no light-blocking or sound-proofing for residents who might not want to share their roommate’s TV-viewing or visitors. WDM reconfigured semi-private rooms by moving the bath to the center of the room. Now, walls, not curtains separate residents. Additionally, each side has a larger individual footprint of 180 s.f. per person and their own separate entrance. This provides enough separation for residents to keep their own TV and sleeping schedule.

Furthermore, WDM designed the new semi-private rooms for headboards against the wall instead of the window which allows residents to have a bright view outside from bed, instead of facing the interior of building.

“The new semi-private room design gives each room a ‘private feel,’” notes Sister Fran. “People really like the layout.”

Measure of Success

All the new features combine to improve residents’ quality of life and better meet the Catholic mission of compassionate, person-centered care.

Download Case Study

Project Overview


116 S. Central, Mulvane, KS 67110


Renovation: 28,504 s.f., Addition: 14,470 s.f.



Team Involved:

Interior Designer: Angi Womeldorff Engineering: PEC GC: Simpson Construction Commercial Kitchen Consultant: Pintail Food Service Consulting