Senior living community unveils new, upgraded facilities

Crews continue to work on the residential expansion at The Village at Orchard Ridge. This expansion will add at least 80 new apartments, all of which have been reserved. Nathan Budryk

WINCHESTER – Senior living community The Village at Orchard Ridge unveiled several new amenities, including a large pool and aquatic therapy space, as an outdoor dining expansion and upgrades to existing facilities during a grand opening celebration this week.

A large residential expansion, which will add 103 apartments to the community, is also under construction, all 103 of which have already been reserved. The conclusion of that expansion is scheduled for the end of this year.

The focal point of the new facilities is what is being called the Engage Center, which includes the new pool and wellness center.

“We knew we needed a building that had an indoor pool and expanded fitness center and then we started looking at what other areas we needed,” said Allison Combs, director of sales and marketing for The Village at Orchard Ridge, said on Wednesday.

“Through the research, we decided we’d do a couple of different pools because we knew that our lap swimmers didn’t like to swim in warm water. We knew that our aquatic aerobic people didn’t like to do therapy in cold water, so our design was to have at least the two systems and we added the third in having the spa,” Combs said.

The expansion, said Larry Bradshaw, president and CEO for National Lutheran Communities and Services, the parent company of The Village at Orchard Ridge, did well to consolidate the services offered at the community.

“The conceptual idea was to really get all of our wellness, health and activities under one roof,” Bradshaw said. “When we built the building, they were kind of distributed throughout the building so the idea was to consolidate it but also to get a more vibrant lifestyle area situation here…We wanted to create the atmosphere of active living.”

The expansion also included a new art studio, physical therapy room, recreation area and massage studio–all located within a few feet of each other.

In addition to facility upgrades, staff and the overall scale of what The Village at Orchard Ridge is able to do have increased as well, said Executive Director Melissa Fortner.

“By having the building and additional staff and support, it gave us the reason to redefine a whole framework of the holistic engagement,” Fortner said. “We then took it from basic dimensions of wellness and expanded to where we know have a philosophy. We are now going to program all of our connected living offerings into 13 different elements…Everything we’re doing now is expanded.”

Residents have already begun taking advantage of the new facilities, said aquatic specialist Olivia Legge.

“We had a class this morning, class this afternoon,” Legge said. “We got it booked up, we just need more bodies in here.”

The grand opening celebration on Wednesday for the Engage Center was the culmination of a 14-month process. Shockey Construction, of Winchester, was the project builder and the designer was SFCS Inc., of  Roanoke.

Bradshaw said the funds for the expansion were secured in the form of tax-exempt bonds, for which The Village at Orchard Ridge is eligible due to its nonprofit status.

“Hamlin Capital Management provided the money,” Bradshaw said. “Frederick County Industrial Development Authority was actually the issuer of the bonds.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or