St. Monica’s Senior Living plans to build a $7.7 million addition on to its current facility at 3920 N. Green Bay Rd., which will include a 24-room memory care unit.

The project is expected to add 17 full-time jobs.

Built on the 42-acre campus, the 18,000 square-foot expansion will be constructed on the northwest side of the building. The building will serve people who have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which is a growing need in Racine, according to a press release from St. Monica’s Senior Living.

The project features include spacious rooms, private bathrooms, and secured indoor and outdoor spaces for activities. A chapel and kitchen expansion and renovation are also planned.

“With our memory care unit expansion, we will serve more than 110 residents, so this expansion is greatly needed,” said Ray Johnson, chairman of the board for St. Monica’s.

Plunkett Raysich Architects LLP is the architect and VJS Construction will build the addition.

“We feel very blessed to be in the position of growth and to be able to provide the Racine community with this kind of unique care for their loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” Johnson said. “Currently many of those individuals must travel to Kenosha or Milwaukee for this specialized care.”

The project is expected to be built in the summer of 2017.

To prepare for the expansion, St. Monica’s staff received special training on how to better care for people who have Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia through a $11,800 grant it received from the Racine Community Foundation.

“The training and certification we received showed our staff a positive, gentle way of caring for the needs of our residents needing memory care, aligning with our overall Person Centered Care philosophy,” said Loretta Baxter, RN and administrator for St. Monica’s Senior Living.

In May the senior center will offer courses to healthcare partners and providers in the Positive Approach to Care techniques.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.