- Published on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 01:00
- Written by Refugio Garcia - Special to the Town Crier
Originally built in 1965 by the Dominican Sisters of Oakford, Villa Siena, a residential care and nursing facility in Mountain View, has hit the midway point in its five-year renovation plan.
“If you had seen the place before, you would know how amazing the changes are,” said receptionist Rosalie Mattevi.
The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul assumed sponsorship of Villa Siena in 1998, when strategic planning to redesign and rebuild began on the 4-acre parcel at 1855 Miramonte Ave. The three-phased construction commenced in September 2009 and is scheduled for completion in November 2013.
“We had such an old building that there was no way to renovate, so we had to start from scratch,” said Corine Bernard, executive director of Villa Siena.
The facility’s Assisted Living Center has increased from 46 to 68 units, while the skilled-nursing units have increased from 20 to 30. Advanced resources such as a wellness center, therapy services, a library, a cafe and a larger chapel complement the expanded facilities.
A picture of San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath greets visitors to the brightly lit main lobby, which features a view of the new courtyard surrounded by Tudor-style buildings.
“It’s a lot different,” said Judy Alf, who has resided at Villa Siena for seven years. “It wasn’t as big and beautiful as this.”
The renovations have upgraded the aesthetics of the facility without sacrificing the intimate feeling the staff strives to provide.
“Our goal is to keep it very homelike instead of institutionalized,” Bernard said.
The added units aren’t the only changes. Features such as kitchenettes, air conditioning, full handicap accessibility and nearly triple the square footage of the original units have become standard.
“It’s going to be great when it’s all finished,” said Edna Pera, who is not only a resident but has volunteered at Villa Siena for 30 years. “I think it’s absolutely beautiful, and I’m glad to be here.”
The site is also home to the Historical House, erected in the 1920s and declared a historical landmark by the city, which complicated the extensive construction.
William and Nellie Swall Wright built and owned the English country cottage until 1948. Wright was a real estate broker and one of the founders of the First National Bank of Mountain View.
“The city of Mountain View allowed us to move the historic building since it was smack-dab in the middle of our land,” Bernard said. “We actually had to move it twice.”
The house, relocated to provide a clear path for the demolition and construction of other buildings, will be placed atop a new basement and foundation within the month. It will become the home for the Daughters of Charity.
For more information, visit www.villa-siena.org or call 961-6484.