Expansion for The Village to start in 2016

Monica Kreber/Journal Scene An aerial image of the property shows what currently sits on the campus at The Village (right side) and what planners are hoping to build in the future.

Construction for a new facility for The Village at Summerville is being planned for early 2016.

The Village, a senior living facility located at 201 W. 9th N. Street, is expanding up to 75.09 acres total as a planned unit development. The property is owned by Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina.

Summerville’s Planning Commission met July 21 for a public hearing on the planned development.

Kathy Ligon, president and CEO of Presbyterian Communities, said The Village has been part of Summerville since 1954, and Presbyterian Communities purchased 47 acres of property adjoining the current property. They are looking to make replacement buildings and new development on the property.

“We have a very strong mission,” she said. “We feel we provide a lot for the community, and to strengthen us for the future we feel we need to go ahead and make these improvements and additions to our ministry so we can remain strong in this community.”

Presbyterian Communities secured the new land in 2012 but has not done anything on the land since.

Right now The Village has a nursing center with 87 beds. Ligon said that facility is aged and needs to be replaced, so they are looking to build a 90-bed health center with private rooms and private baths. Presbyterian Communities also plans to build a memory support center for dementia patients, which will come with 20 beds. Officials also wish to build 54 apartments, and hope to build villa products as people wish to have them.

Ligon said she thinks Summerville needs the new development to better serve its growing population.

“So many people are coming into the area and so many of them will be bringing their parents along with them and will be looking for a place to have them close by,” she said. “It’s just a really exciting time in the history of our organization.”

Tim Mueller, president of SFCS Architects, specializes in retirement facilities. He said the plan is still in its earliest design phases, and the facility is still using the main entry that already exists today for the community.

Once the new health center is built the existing one will come down or be re-utilized.

Phase one of the project will be a three-story apartment building and a one-story commons facility. The villa products will be two-story buildings that will allow residents to “be a part of the community but not necessarily move into the big house.”

Residents attended the public hearing to express concerns over changes in the roads. Resident Robert Bright was concerned about any access roads coming through the neighborhood of Daniel’s Orchard.

Officials said Daniel’s Orchard will not be affected.

“The city requested that we have a back emergency access, off part of the block of the main road, which we’ve put in,” Mueller said. “There will be no access through Daniel’s Orchard. A traffic study has been completed for the proposed project and based upon an independent traffic engineer, the project will not have a negative impact on the existing road system.”

Summerville’s Planning Commission approved the PUD amendments. The proposed amendments still need council approval, with the first reading scheduled for August.