Hayden project set to break ground

Published 10:20 am Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Hayden Village Center project has received the last piece of financial support and is set to begin the process of abatement and demolition as soon as the paperwork clears, according to officials with Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia.

Planning for the senior-living community began eight years ago, and in 2012 ground was projected to break on the center in the spring of 2013. Better late than never, said members of Franklin City Council.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Ward 5 representative Mary Hilliard. “Patience pays off.”

“It’s been a long haul,” Ward 2’s Benny Burgess added. “I am just glad to see it is finally coming to fruition.”

Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn asked John Skirven, CEO of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, to clarify.

“You all have been and still are working hard,” she said. “I know it is a long process, but I appreciate you for fortitude in getting things done.

“In clear language, the Hayden Village process is moving forward?”

“We close on June 1,” Skirven responded, talking about receiving the final portion of the financial support for the project. “Construction will take about a year.”

Skirven said the center will create about 70 jobs during the process of construction. The center itself will retain 40 jobs currently in place, and it will create as many as 45 new jobs, he added.

“This is the first step at the end of a very long journey to get us to this first step,” Skirven said. “I want to thank you as council people for your ongoing support and faith that we can make this happen.

“I also want to thank you for your patience. It’s been a very long process to get here, with fits and stops and starts.”

The next step toward construction is the abatement and demolition phase, and they are currently in the process of getting permits from the office of Community Development.

The center hopes to open in the fall of 2016. The project’s general contractor is Edgewater Construction Services LLC; architect, Lyall Design Architects; and construction manager Hartley Construction Management LLC.

The Hayden Village Center, taking over Hayden Jr. High School, is projected to have 10 apartments in the original building and 15 in a new wing.

Hayden was named for Della I. Hayden, a Hampton University graduate, who in 1904 founded a private boarding school for black girls in Franklin. She served as principal there until her death in 1924.