METAMORA — Snyder Village retirement community will break ground Thursday on a $2.25 million enhancement project that will give residents more dining options and space to socialize.

The project includes the additions of individual dining areas on three halls that will feel more like a cafe than an institution in the hopes of creating an environment more similar to a neighborhood, executive director Keith Swartzentruber said.

“The best part of a bistro is that our residents have more good choices at mealtime, and the additional dining areas also create more opportunities for families to join us for meals,” he said.

As part of the dining expansion, the menus will also grow throughout the facility to include grilled items, sandwiches, wraps, salads and other “bistro-style” choices, in addition to the two daily entrees.

By providing more choices, residents can enjoy more independence in a place where they might normally feel limited. These renovations support the philosophy of Snyder Village, offering personalized care in a way that feels less institutional, Swartzentruber said.

The enhancement project also will include new office space, a staff lunch room, a permanent activities room and a community area for residents. The community area will give residents space to socialize with each other as well as meet with visiting family and friends.

“For years now, residents in the Health Center have used the dining rooms for both mealtime as well as most of our activities and entertainment,” Swartzentruber said. “That means our staff spends lots of time each day with room set-up and transition it from a dining room to a craft room or bingo hall and back to a dining area for the next meal.”

Swartzentruber said the upcoming project is the culmination of eight years of work and about four years of fundraising.

Now in its 30th year, Snyder Village is finishing up interior renovations, fixing up residents’ rooms and living spaces before moving on to the larger enhancement project.

The project is expected to take nine months to complete and shouldn’t affect the lives of the residents besides maybe providing an interesting talking point, Swartzentruber said.

“This building project is going to be a more efficient use of our space and staff time, and the ultimate winners are our residents,” he said.

The public is welcome to attend the official ground breaking at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Kelsey Watznauer can be reached at kwatznauer@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @kwatznauer.