Cardinal Clubhouse redesign takes wing

Fresh look for a favorite gathering place

Created date

December 23rd, 2019
(From left) Maris Grove resident Ruth Marshall, Priscilla Rakestraw of the Ministry of Caring, and Bob Bauer with donated furniture from the Cardinal Clubhouse renovation to the Ministry of Caring.

(From left) Maris Grove resident Ruth Marshall, Priscilla Rakestraw of the Ministry of Caring, and Bob Bauer with donated furniture from the Cardinal Clubhouse renovation to the Ministry of Caring.

The Cardinal Clubhouse is undergoing a major renovation, and community members can’t wait to see the finished product. 

The extensive project began with an overhaul of the Blue Sky restaurant, which was completed in November 2019. Crews halted construction for the holiday season and resumed in January. The downstairs theater, lobby, and catering room will be finished in March. 

The hallways and common areas in the residence buildings surrounding the clubhouse also are receiving a thorough update, so the entire building feels fresh. 

The new color palette features ivory, blue-gray, tan, and cocoa, with hints of cranberry and gold. Fabrics and carpets have different textures and subtle patterns, including herringbone, plaid, and abstract floral. A mix of pendant fixtures with glass and fabric shades cast soft, flattering light. Comfortable sofas and chairs invite people to linger for friendly conversation. 

According to Bob Bauer, Maris Grove’s project manager, “Every 10 to 13 years, public areas at Erickson Living-managed communities undergo a ‘lifecycle renovation.’ These makeovers reflect new design trends and community members’ needs and preferences. We change virtually everything—paint, wallpaper, carpet, fixtures, furnishings, and artwork—to create beautiful, new spaces.” 

A detailed process

Before anyone lifted a hammer, Erickson Living’s development and design teams spent almost two years drafting blueprints and design plans. “We revisited those plans several times before the final version was approved,” says Bauer. “Everyone who touches the project had input to ensure we’ve addressed even the smallest detail. Our goal was to produce harmonious and functional rooms that meet everyone’s needs.”

Once Bauer received the final go-ahead, he requested competitive bids from qualified construction professionals. “We look for excellent craftsmanship at a reasonable cost,” he says. “After we chose the vendors, my team was on site every day, supervising every detail,” he says.

An experienced hand

Bauer’s professional resume is impressive. He started his career as a grip on movie sets in New York, building and maintaining the equipment that supports the cameras. After 20 years in the industry, he moved to Pennsylvania and started a contracting firm. 

Bauer sold that company, became the project manager for a home builder, then went to Lincoln University as their operations manager. 

He came across the job posting for a project manager at Maris Grove and thought, “This position fits me to a T. I was so excited to join the organization two years ago, and it’s a great place to work. I love everything about it.”

Giving to the community

Bauer notes that the community donated the unneeded furniture, art, light fixtures, and decorative objects to the Ministry of Caring, described on its website as “a vibrant community of staff, volunteers, donors, and diverse supporters united by a passion to serve the poor.” The nonprofit offers child care, a dining room, housing support, and emergency shelter. 

“Discarding the furniture would have been easy, but the team said, ‘Let’s repurpose it to make a difference,’” says Bauer. “It’s gratifying to help our neighbors in Wilmington, Del., and the donation says so much about the caring spirit at Maris Grove.”

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