Hayden Junior High getting makeover

Published 8:54 am Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hayden Junior High School was abandoned many years ago, but will undergo a transformation through Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia. -- SIDNEY MOORE | TIDEWATER NEWS

Hayden Junior High School was abandoned many years ago, but will undergo a transformation through Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia. — SIDNEY MOORE | TIDEWATER NEWS


FRANKLIN—The once bustling and now abandoned Hayden Junior High School will be getting some new life injected into it soon.

It is the site for the new Hayden Village; a multi-use facility that would specialize in offering the city’s seniors a way to age with dignity, while engaging in healthy lifestyles.

The Hayden Village project would allow for the construction of 25 apartments for senior citizens within the building, as well as an adult day health care program. It would relocate the Senior Services Rural Office from the Martin Luther King building and place it under the same roof.

The project would also have an influence on other city residents by offering a Head Start Program for the children. There will be Home Ownership Training offered by the Franklin Housing Authority on site. They will have various wellness programs, too, as well as a new Heritage Museum, a library and a new community center.

Spearheading the effort for this transformation is the Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. SSSEVA was established under the Older Americans Act of 1972. They have federal and state legal designation. The region they serve consists of a blend of rural and urban areas spanning over 2,000 square miles. Last year alone their staff of 105 people served over 12,000 senior citizens.

Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia have always been involved in Western Tidewater, namely Southampton County, since the program’s inception in 1972. They have been one of the original members of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community. They initiated the Care Transition pilot program in 2012 with conjunction with Southampton Memorial Hospital.

“We noticed that whenever older patients were treated at the hospital, they returned within 30 days. So, we partnered with the hospital to help patients with after care,” said Vanessa Greene, who sits on the SSSEVA Board of Directors as a representative for Southampton County. The SSSEVA have managed the Rural Aging Centers in Franklin, Isle of Wight and Suffolk since 1973.

The reason the SSSEVA chose Franklin to focus its efforts is quite simple.

“We conducted a private study and learned that out of the whole region, Franklin had the highest percentage of citizens over the age of 65,” Greene said. “It’s also one of the poorest in the region, having the highest percentage of low-income households.”

Speaking about overall health, she said, “Franklin is home to the highest rate of diabetes and chronic health issues. So, something like Hayden Village was needed a long time ago.”

The project would also create an opportunity for economic empowerment for the City of Franklin and surrounding areas by creating much-needed jobs.

The project will retain the name of Delia I. Hayden, the person for whom the school is named. In keeping with her tradition of leadership and dignity, the SSSEVA along with its backers from the Hayden Alumni and Paul D. Camp Community College will open the doors and forge a new path for the city.

The new Hayden Village would centralize programs and services making it easier for people to access resources and help they need. It would bring a new market of opportunity and allow for some money to be saved through Historic Tax Credits.

“We’re trying to make a one-stop shop for services and open doors that people probably would’ve never thought were open to them,” said Greene. “Do you know that there’s not one single industrial kitchen for use by residents and students? Not one? We’d have that and give the students at Paul D. Camp the opportunity to utilize the kitchen. That way, the kids gain valuable experience, and we can make sure our residents have hot, nutritious meals.”

If anyone is interested in being a part of history the SSSEVA is accepting donations for the construction of the Hayden Village.

“We’re selling bricks that will have your name engraved on them,” Greene said. “They’ll form a path from the Hayden Village to the grave site of Ms. Hayden.”

To purchase one of the bricks or to learn more information about donating to the cause, contact Greene at 514-7461. You can also make a donation by visiting the Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia website at www.ssseva.org and clicking on the donation button.

During the Friday meeting of the Franklin Rotary Club, John Skirven and Debbie Schwartz from SSSEVA, got to speak about the project. Skirven is the chief executive officer, and Schwartz is the director of Development and Community Relations.

“We help families stay together in their own homes,” Skirven told the club in talking about the organization’s background. “We connect you with services or to someone who does have them.”

He noted the federal and state funds make up the bulk of revenue for the organization. In fiscal year 2013, all sources added to $7.2 million. But Skirven expects that revenue to decrease to $6.4 million or $6.3 million next year.

The price for the project is forecast at $12 million, of which $9 million will be needed for renovations costs, he said. Sources of income are anticipated to come from the following sources:

$300,000 in equity (property)

$125,000: Adult Day Care build out payment

$500,000: Friends of Hayden contribution

$1,200,000: Capital Development Initiative

$3,500,000: Equity (New Market Tax Credits)

$3,700,000: Equity (Historic Tax Credits)

Equity/Grants: $9,325,000

Debt/loan: $2,675,000

Skirven said 100 jobs related to construction and renovated are expected to be created. Further, 40 existing jobs will remain, and another 45 will generated for the village.

Schwartz reiterated the brick campaign as a way to not only help in funding, but also to get people connected to the project as a whole.

Asked by a club member how will Hayden all be sustained, Skirven explained that residential rents are expected to generate $160,000 annually, and $460,000 in commercial rentals.

“SSSEVA is the owner and also a tenant,” he said.

Overall, the new Hayden Village will be “a transformational project,” said Skirven.

Staff writer Stephen H. Cowles contributed to this story.