BRADENTON -- With a focus on wellness and being more welcoming, Westminster Manor and Westminster Towers and Shores in Bradenton are remodeling.
Plans for both the Shores, 1700 Third Ave. W., and the Manor, 1700 21st Ave. W., include new entrance ways, new exercise facilities and new reception and gathering areas, according to Steve Kastner, regional vice president of operations for Westminster Communities of Bradenton.
"The background for it is that we're trying to better meet the needs of our residents. That's really the driving force behind it," Kastner said. "We looked at the needs of our residents and how we could better meet their needs and provide them with a better environment where they can play and exercise and take full advantage of the opportunities of their aging years.
"That goes in line with our mission statement of caring for people and helping them to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible," he added. "We sat down with our creative people who do space design and asked 'how can we better meet their needs'. We came to the conclusion that this is how to do that."
The Ware's Creek project goes right through the Manor area, and the Towers and Shores project is a waterfront property.
"Finished, it has the opportunity for playtime. Once the seawalls are in place, it will enhance the whole neighborhood," Kastner said.
Manor resident Mo Sherrill looks forward to having the opening space being "more pleasing to the public."
"Hopefully they'll have more machines and expand our exercise capability," said Sherril, who moved in last year with his wife, Jeanette.
Residents have input into amenities and designs, Westminster directors say. The city of Bradenton recently granted two construction permits: a $500,000 permit for the Manor and a $300,000 permit for the Shores.
"We're making changes to the seating areas and access to the wellness room," says Sandra Knoble, executive director of Westminster Manor. "Some of the other things we're going to do are to the physical plant, adding accessible bathrooms, refitting the mailboxes and redesigning the dining area so that again we're updating the area.
"The finishes are worn right now. We're working differently than we were when this plan was designed originally," she added.
"We know that the family members and the residents themselves are expecting higher standards, higher finishes when they come to a community. In some ways this is the most important decision they make when they move to a community like this in their lives," acknowledged the corporate vice president. "We have to make sure we're doing everything to meet their expectations. They expect when they walk into a building that there are common areas that meet their expectations."
"You see what happens when you start moving a little bit of dirt," smiled Manor resident Jeanne Oliver and board of directors member Genie Shannon, both long time Bradenton residents. Shannon has served on the board since the original ground breaking 51 years ago and Oliver, who also helped shovel that first load of dirt, now holds the title of "Westminster Ambassador."
Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be contacted at 941-748-0411, ext. 7024 or tweet @DeeGrahamBH