The Community Living Center at the Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona is up and running.
The center provides short- and long-term nursing home care to veterans.
The 13,500-square-foot sixth floor project, estimated at $2.3 million, was completed in February.
"Our building was built in 1950 as a hospital, and over the years, we have had to convert the facility for new uses as health care has evolved and the needs of veterans have changed," said Andrea Young, medical center spokeswoman. "This project turned a former hospital ward into a very modern, home-like environment for our residents."
The project, completed by R.C. Clark, included demolishing existing walls and replacing them with new resident rooms, a dining area and recreation areas. Design work for the sixth floor project was completed by AE Works of Pittsburgh, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business.
One of the project's main goals was to enhance patient privacy and dignity. As a result, the design converted the previous 40 rooms per floor into 20 rooms, offering more space in efforts promote independence in a home-like setting.
The renovated floor also focuses on providing a comfortable space for veterans, their caretakers and families to visit. New additions to the floor include day rooms, a hearth room and library.
The new layout also separates medical facilities from the living quarters.
"Our work is about people," said Michael Cherock, AE Works owner and founder, in a statement.
"Yes, we design buildings, but it is in these buildings we build relationships and have experiences. Health care is even more so about people, and we should do all that we can to keep those receiving the health care as the focus," he said.
An identical project on the fifth floor was completed in July 2011.