The Bishop Gadsden retirement community today breaks ground on a project that will add dozens of new apartments to the James Island campus, officials said.

The community for people 65 and older is planning to add 45 new apartments in a development called The Quay at Bishop Gadsden. Officials will break ground today at 4:30 p.m.

The new units are planned to be housed in four-story buildings constructed on 12 acres of property acquired at the west side of the community's existing footprint.

The apartments will be as large as 2,100 square feet and contain details such as a fireplace, luxury kitchen, high ceilings and large balconies, officials said.

The buildings, constructed around a lake, will house vehicle parking on the first floor.

The $32 million expansion project is expected to be completed by summer 2015, officials have said.

The project is being helped by a bond of about $40 million from the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority, according to Kimberly Farfone Borts, a spokeswoman for the community.

Officials have declined to give exact pricing for each new unit.

Bishop Gadsden has historically been touted as one of the nation's premier senior living communities. In 2006, it charged residents an entrance fee ranging from $134,700 to $350,900 with a contract for long-term care services. Residents also then paid a monthly fee between $2,020 and $2,750 that, among other things, paid for dining, utilities, security, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance.

Bishop Gadsden is home to roughly 450 residents and employs 300 people on its 70-acre campus, according to its website.

In 1850, the Rev. Christopher E. Gadsden established a diocesan ministry for the aging. As a result, the Episcopal Church Home for the elderly was established, first downtown on Anson Street and later Bee Street. The home was named after Bishop Gadsden when it moved to James Island in 1987.

The senior living community has undergone a series of renovations and expansions in the past few decades. Community officials have said the additions have been in response to market demands.

That includes the expansion of the community's fitness and wellness center in 2003 and the $12 million project that added 40 new units in 2005.

The community also added a new chapel in 2006, a project that cost $2.3 million.