COTTAGE GROVE - Officials, staff and residents celebrated the completed expansion of Norris Square at a Jan. 8 dedication ceremony.

The $65 million project tripled the size of the senior living community. The new campus features a 68-unit independent living building and a 75-unit skilled nurse and memory care facility as well as a three-story independent living building.

All three are connected by concourses, eliminating the need to venture outside in inclement weather.

The project also added the equivalent of 72 full-time jobs.

Norris Square was the first senior housing complex in the city when it opened nine years ago by Presbyterian Homes and Services. White Pine Senior Living has since opened with assisted living and memory care; Legends of Cottage Grove independent living community opened early last year.

Cottage Grove residents who age out of their homes shouldn't have to leave the city to find senior living accommodations, Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey told the crowd.

"Presbyterian homes evaluated the current housing and service options in Cottage Grove and recognized that there was an emerging need in our community," Bailey said. "Additionally, there is an increased demand for senior housing options of all types in Cottage Grove. This Norris Square expansion address both these needs."

Bailey cut the ribbon with the help of Norris Square resident Mary Jane Arnfelt, who used to be the nurse at Pine Hill Elementary School when Bailey was a student there.