Providence breaks ground in St. John

Providence Board members pose for a photo at the groundbreaking ceremony for Park Place of St. John. View more photos from the event here.

ST. JOHN, Ind. (October 2014) – Providence Life Services broke ground Thursday, Oct. 16, on its newest development, Park Place of St. John, celebrating the next step toward building its first community in Indiana.

Cloudy skies and a little mud did nothing to dampen the excitement surrounding the groundbreaking for the full-spectrum senior living community.

Park Place of St. John will feature innovative services and offer retirement living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and memory care on the campus at The Gates of St. John.

CEO Richard C. Schutt described the services the project will bring to St. John.

CEO Richard C. Schutt described the services the project will bring to St. John.

“By God’s providence, we come to the Gates of St. John,” said Providence Life Services CEO Richard Schutt at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Today marks the beginning of many years of service to the St. John community.”

Sixty apartments will make up the first phase of retirement living on the new campus, which is expected to open for residents in the spring of 2016. One- and two-bedroom apartments will be available in five different floor plans, with options for one or two bathrooms, a patio, balcony and enclosed garages. Laundry facilities will be included in each unit.

Community space in the building will be plentiful, and Park Place of St. John will also be connected with the surrounding community. 

Residents can choose a spacious dining area or smaller, cafe-style spaces for meals. The building will also include a library, club room, fitness areas, beauty salon, theatre-style gathering room and a guest suite.

An outdoor walking path and bike trail will wind around the campus and join with the network of trails already in place at The Gates of St. John. Banks, restaurants, and other businesses are located nearby, and Crown Point Christian School is right next door to Park Place. Staff at the new school are already working with Providence leadership to develop intergenerational activities designed for students and residents.

“We look forward to collaborating with a great school, and together, we bring a testimony of God’s faithfulness,” Schutt said.

The site of Park Place of St. John.

Innovative services will be offered in the “small houses” on Park Place’s campus, and will serve people with skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation needs. Two buildings will be home to 10 long-term residents, and a larger house will serve 30 rehabilitation clients. 

In each of the houses – which are built to resemble single-family homes, not apartment buildings — residents have private rooms that surround an open kitchen and community living room. Each resident has a personalized schedule and is encouraged to participate in the life of the house to whatever extent he or she is able.

The “Small House” is a relatively new concept — Providence built the first one in Illinois — and represents a revolutionary model of care, which Providence is blessed to be able to provide.

“This facility is a gift from God, and we’d like to dedicate the land and the future of the land to His glory and to our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Norm Aardema, Chair of the Providence Life Services Board of Directors.

Providence Life Services is a not-for-profit ministry that owns and operates communities in Chicagoland and southwest Michigan. For more information, visit To find out more about Park Place of St. John, call (219) 525-4658, or email

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