NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – A 114-year-old nonprofit that helps seniors stay engaged with activities is getting a makeover in the City of Neenah.

Valley VNA Senior Care broke ground on Thursday for its 9,835-square-foot space that will enhance the safety of common areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, and lounges.

“This project will allow us to make building renovations that ensure people with dementia or increased physical requirements will have better accommodations and enjoy their surroundings more,” said Valley VNA President and CEO Theresa Pichelmeyer.

Living quarters, outdoor courtyards, and special amenities like the Namaste Room, Fitness Center, and other spaces will also be added or upgraded.

“The project’s first phase includes building 11 rooms with common space for activities and a courtyard,” said Tom Martin, president and partner with Community Living Services in Appleton, who is constructing the facility. “While the addition is being built, Amber Court, the area closest to Lyon Drive, will be remodeled.”

Once the two projects are complete, officials say the rest of the building will be remodeled, which includes knocking out walls to create a number of things such as larger rooms, more bathrooms, renovated kitchens, and reconfiguring common spaces for activities.

“Our residents deserve the best as do our staff. We want to be the place that people choose for safe care with the most talented caregivers,” Pichelmeyer said. “The past two years have certainly pushed us like we have never been pushed in over 100 years of service. Yet, it only strengthens our desire to keep offering outstanding care, to keep improving and keep going.”

Neenah Mayor Jane Lang was ecstatic to put a $4.4 million grant received through the American Rescue Plant Act toward the facility.

“The funds are to be used for enhancing the health and safety of vulnerable communities,” said Lang. “The Valley VNA project matches that description and even more with the addition of the new air filtration system, which will improve residents’ and employees’ health.”

The complete project is expected to finish in 2024.