Strode Independent Living Newest Addition to Morgan Orchards Sr Living Community
On September 26, 2017, Gifford officially celebrated the opening of 49 new apartments in Strode Independent Living on the Morgan Orchards Senior Living campus in Randolph Center.
Gifford staff, apartment residents, neighbors, and community members (many who have supported the Morgan Orchards project from the very beginning) gathered to celebrate as Vermont Governor Phil Scott cut a red ribbon that stretched across the entrance to the new building.
Governor Scott noted that the group was celebrating a new community, not just the opening of a new facility, and stressed the importance of supporting healthy aging in Vermont.
“By 2030, if we continue on our current demographic trajectory, Vermont will be the oldest state in the country, with over 25 percent of our total population over the age of 65,” he said. “Older Vermonters are one of our most significant resources, serving on school and select boards, volunteering at community organizations, and they also contribute to our workforce. We need to continue to focus on supporting Vermonters as they age.”
The 30-acre senior living community, with the 70,000 square foot independent living building, the Menig Nursing Home, and a planned assisted living facility, was designed to provide a full-spectrum of living options for area seniors.
Gifford President and CEO Dan Bennett honored Brookfield, Vt. residents Larry and Ellie Strode, whose generous support helped to make the Independent Living building possible. They supported the project from the earliest stages, knowing that it would ensure that seniors wouldn’t be forced to leave the neighborhoods they love when downsizing or needing extra support and assistance.
“The Strodes have long been part of community discussions about the need for senior housing options in our community. They experienced firsthand the sadness and frustration dislocation brings when Larry’s parents had to move because they needed additional support and care,” he said. “Today we celebrate the creation of these beautiful homes, which bring seniors new options to remain engaged in our community when they decide to downsize.”
Gifford Board of Directors Chair Matt Considine thanked the guests who helped complete the project, including Gifford Facilities Director Doug Pfohl, Matthew Reed from Weimann Lamphere Architects; Rob Higgins, Peter Nelson, Evan Douglas, Andrew Martin, Adam Wood, and Heidi Davis from Neagley & Chase construction; Clay Adams and Kevin Raleigh from Mascoma Savings Bank; and Tom Leavitt, Megan Cicio, and Al Flory from Northfield Savings Bank.
Strode Independent Living offers active seniors the best of small town life combined with the ability to choose aspects of senior living support that work best for their lifestyle. The apartments have been grouped into clustered neighborhoods around shared internal and external spaces that include a library, fitness center, dining room, lounges, sunroom, tavern, and community rooms.
The building has been placed to catch both sunrise and sunset views, and the surrounding landscape is integrated into the building design wherever possible. A convenient location (next to I-89 and the VTC campus), and easy access to the outdoors (an extensive system of hiking and snowshoeing trails are planned for the campus) make it easy for seniors to maintain an active and engaged lifestyle.