LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Construction on a facility designed to provide a more home-like setting for people undergoing rehabilitative care got underway Tuesday morning. Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno were among the guests at Tuesday morning’s groundbreaking for the $11.4 million Sosin Center for Rehabilitation at the Jewish Geriatric Services campus in Longmeadow.

“It was after surgery for a triple bypass and I was treated very, very well,” said Seymour Frankel. He’s been involved in JGS for most of his life, but never expected he would have to go into their rehabilitation program after having heart surgery. “You could see that they had to modernize and have different kind of equipment and that’s what this whole building is going to be about,” he added.

He has helped give input on this new project, expected to be complete by 2016.

The short-term rehabilitation facility will operate under the “small house” model. In this type of facility, patients have their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, which are located off a common space. Each of the two “small house” units will contain twelve private rooms.

Mark Caney is a resident at Leavitt Family Jewish Home, on the same Longmeadow campus. He’s lived there for about a year and said it’s a very difficult transition from living at home. He hopes this style rehabilitation will make the transition easier for people, even if it’s just their temporary home. “It was a major, major adjustment for me and will take a while,” he said.

“The type of facility that we’re going to build, a separate facility in the small house model, has never really been done in this area. It is vital for our continued success and for the entire community,” said Stephen Krevalin, co-chair of the capital campaign for the new rehab center.

The new facility is named after George Sosin, a former volunteer and resident of Jewish Geriatric Services, who left them $3 million in his will, in support of the center; the largest individual donation in JGS history.