Avila Retirement Home to expand

The Avila Retirement Home is adding 44 units to its 152 existing units and has set a target date for completion of the project for the beginning of 2010.

The retirement home, located on the Washington Avenue Extension west of Crossgates Mall, offers independent living for senior citizens, and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Karen Hoogkamp, community liaison for the retirement center, said the extension will be three stories, and the units will range from 785 square feet to 1,211 square feet.

Once we have 28 people committed to the new units, then the shovel will go into the ground, Hoogkamp said.

She said construction could take nine or 10 months, once they get enough people to commit.

She said so far about 10 have committed, and there are many more on the waiting list who could follow suit.

Hoogkamp said many seniors on the waiting list have been there for too long.

"People have been on the waiting list for four or five years," she said.

The additional units will be in a building located directly across from the existing cottages, and will feature all of the amenities of the existing units, with the addition of several new benefits, including a new meal plan and the option to choose the floor tiles, rugs and dEcor, she added.

She also said the new building will have a good deal of privacy, with trees surrounding much of it.

Hoogkamp said the building is going to have a fitness and exercise center, wireless Internet and a computer station.

A neighboring retirement community often plans events with Avila, and representatives said they look forward to continuing their relationship.

"We have enjoyed, and plan to enjoy, a wonderful relationship with Avila," said Leiah Bowden, the communications representative for the Daughters of Sarah Senior Community.

"We have an excellent rapport with Avila and wish them the best in their continuing efforts to serve this region's growing elderly population. We're all in this together -- doing whatever we can and feel we must to serve those to whose care and dignity we are committed to," said CEO Mark Koblenz.""

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