Live Update to Residents-March 18, 2021
Today’s Live Update on our in-house TV970 covered the latest news at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, including an introduction to Vibrancy! It featured John Burns, President and CEO; Glendon Kemp, Manager of Security; and Logan Augustine, Chaplain. The next Live Update will be Tuesday, March 23.
The following updates were shared.
We continue with no new cases of COVID-19 in residents or employees. We are monitoring the need for additional members of our community to receive vaccination. On Friday, we will hold a vaccination clinic for an additional 55 employees, new residents, contractors and volunteers.
From Friday through yesterday, residents hosted 572 guests. It has been great to see residents out at the Sara Belle November Theater, Studio Arts and Fitness classes, the Marketplace and more.
Thank you for your continued understanding as we slowly reopen. We continue conversation about next steps and will share updates in the coming weeks. For now, please continue to follow all existing guidance.
The Vibrancy! project comprises the next steps coming to our campus – changes and enhancements that will improve day-to-day life at Westminster Canterbury Richmond! Why are we embarking on this project? We have a vision of making this an even better place to live and work! You have helped us shape what that vision looks like.
This project will enhance our current residents’ lives as well as those who live here in the future. Westminster Canterbury has always been forward looking, focused on innovation and willing to make investments that allow us to be ready for today and tomorrow. We want everyone to live a vibrant life in elderhood and enjoy every day at every age.
Many of our residents have heard of the Vibrancy! project but may not know what it is. The current design has changed from what we shared more than a year ago. Others may have never heard of it, and we are excited to introduce it to you. Today is only the beginning. We will share more details as the project progresses. On the Live Update on April 1, we will share a video with a narrated tour of the project in detail. In the future, there will be opportunities to ask questions and learn more.
History Leading to Vibrancy!
In 2016, Westminster Canterbury Richmond completed a Strategic Plan in coordination with our Boards of Trustees. Residents were involved in the process and continue to be represented in ongoing Strategic Planning.
In 2017, we completed a Strategic Growth Plan that laid out our next steps. We began the Tower Exterior and Roof Terrace projects, which were completed in 2018. Also in 2018, we acquired 10.6 acres of the Azalea property next door.
In 2019, we assembled our team of outside contractors, designers, project managers and partners; began the design of the project and began constructing the Spiritual Center.
In 2020, the Tower Green and Spiritual Center projects were completed. They are beautiful additions to our campus. We took a pause at the beginning of the pandemic, but we completed schematic design and began design development. Our staff teams were closely involved in the design work and brought everything they have learned from resident committees, especially in Wellness, Dining, Recreation and more. This project represents what our residents want.
Vibrancy! Project Components
Watch the video to see a site map that shows an aerial view of our campus and all the pieces of the project.
A reimagined Tower entrance leads into new Dining spaces where the Promenade dining room currently sits.
A new Vital Living Center will be ahead to the left of the Ellipse, featuring space for active, engaged living. It includes a new fitness and aquatic center, room for exercise classes and classrooms for wellness learning. It includes new salon and spa spaces and a barber shop.
Above the Vital Living Center will be 42 new Vitality Apartments. At the top of the site map is the current Mary Morton Parsons Health Center Parking Lot. A new Parking Deck will be constructed here, adding 400 new parking spaces for employees, contractors and visitors, solving our current parking challenges.
At the top right of the map are 56 new Village Apartments next to Cochrane Pond and on the new Azalea property. A Clubhouse will be constructed and available to everyone on campus. A new entrance at Dumbarton Road will allow staff and support traffic to enter from the back corner of campus, taking substantial pressure off the gatehouse and traffic.
While the team has been doing design work, other planning has been underway to support the Vibrancy! project. Thirteen staff Task Forces are reviewing aspects of the project to ensure we can do adequate planning and communication to minimize the impact on current residents, looking at transportation and safety, dining, staffing, the Vital Living Center, technology, communications and more. The Residents Board and Resident Committee leadership will work with these task forces as we continue planning.
The Promenade Dining renovation and Parking Deck will begin in late June or early July. During that time, the Ellipse will be closed except for emergency egress. Other green spaces, the Tower Green and walking trails will continue to be available. Resident Gardens near the Ellipse will be relocated. We are in the process of planning for new raised beds that will be available for planting this year. Kathleen Pender and her team have been working diligently on this planning. The affected residents will receive a memo with more details on Friday.
The Promenade will remain closed until the end of construction in late Spring or early Summer 2022. The Marketplace will stay open, and we will continue delivery services through this time to meet dining needs. The new Dining spaces that will open next year will feature a new coffee bar during the day and a cocktail lounge in the evenings, a new small dining venue, a new Promenade, the Virginia Room for private dining and a new flexible dining space.
The construction of the new Vital Living Center that includes the fitness and aquatic center, the Vitality Apartments above, the connecting Gallery space, and the Village Apartments and clubhouse are scheduled to start in late summer 2022. We hope to accelerate this timing if apartment sales continue to be strong.
View the image looking at the back of the Tower from the edge of the Ellipse near the highway. Imagine what this will be like! A beautiful backyard Ellipse space. Warm, vibrant dining spaces. The Vital Living Center will be a destination for active, engaging living, a space to meet with friends. This is an image that gets us excited about possibilities. We are very pleased to share the details of these plans with you soon.
Please plan to tune in on April 1 for the video tour of the new spaces. Regular Live Updates will continue next week on Tuesday and Thursday.
Safety Crosswalk between Tower Island and Tower Green
The Tower Green is a beautiful space for walking, sitting and enjoying the sunshine. We have heard concerns about the safety of crossing from the Tower Entrance to the Tower Green. On Tuesday, March 23, we will enhance the safety of the crossing area between the Tower Island and the Tower Green. We are adding crosswalk striping, two speed bumps, temporary crosswalk stop signs and other signage to help slow traffic in this area. This is a temporary solution with a more permanent solution in the fall. During the installation on Tuesday, incoming traffic will be diverted to the Tower Circle. Exiting traffic will be diverted to the West Tower exit gates. If you have questions, contact Glen at ext. 6079.
Pastoral Care Updates
A Sermon for Every Sunday airs this Sunday, March 21, on TV970 at 4 p.m. Pastor Jim Somerville preaches on the psalms and David’s evolving relationship with God.
Residents are invited to Evening Prayer, Monday through Friday at 4:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Residents lead the service of Evening Prayer, which is found in the Book of Common Prayer. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Pastoral Care office will offer services during Holy Week via TV970. Please check the listings in The Tales for more information.
Words from the reflection by Rachel Drotar, offered by Rev. Deacon Augustine in today’s update, were published in the March 12, 2020, edition of Hope and Community in the Time of Coronavirus. Lent 2020. “Ignatian Solidarity Network.” https://ignatiansolidarity.net/
Gracious and loving God, we give thanks for the gift of community. We thank you for leading us through this year of pandemic and uncertainty, and for your presence in those around us who have loved and supported us. When we’ve felt most alone, we’ve known your presence, O God. Help us to continue to support one another as we move toward this time of renewed hope. While we celebrate all that lies ahead, help us not to forget those persons who do not have ready access to vaccines or other support that we enjoy. Help us to be mindful, and let us not lose our creativity as we find ways to care for and uplift others.