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November 1, 2003
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River Landing at Sandy Ridge, High Point, North Carolina: Getting Into the Swing by Robert Volzer, CID, IIDA
RIVER LANDING AT SANDY RIDGE High Point, North Carolina TYPE OF FACILITY/SETTING: Multilevel Care Retirement Community CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR: Tom Smith, (336) 668-4900 OWNER/ORGANIZATION: Presbyterian Homes, Inc., of North Carolina ARCHITECTURE/ENGINEERING: FreemanWhite, Inc., (704) 523-2230 INTERIOR DESIGN: Design Associates Triad, Inc., (336) 370-1117 PHOTOGRAPHY: Tim Buchman, Billy Simcox RESIDENT CAPACITY: 142 Independant Living apts., 85 Cottages, 40 Assisted Living units, 44 Skilled Nursing beds, and 16 Special Care beds TOTAL AREA (SQ. FT.): 547,100 CONSTRUCTION COST: $59 million COST/SQ. FT.: $108 (average) Getting Into the Swing
BY ROBERT VOLZER, CID, IIDA, VOLZER DESIGN DEVELOPMENT The creative redevelopment of an existing 127-acre golf course created an outstanding site for seniors to actively age in place. More than a half-million square feet of buildings have replaced the interior nine holes of a country club golf course, and design innovations have provided for greater access and generous views to the remaining nine holes, ponds, and woodlands at River Landing at Sandy Ridge.

The wide variety of living options and the 41,000-square-foot community building allow residents to be engaged in the full continuum of care. "The inclusion of a 25- to 30-registrant adult day care/respite program and an adjacent 75-child day care facility will meet our future multigenerational interaction goals," says Chief Administrator Tom Smith, "and our 7,800-square-foot wellness center-with an Olympic-size swimming pool, exercise room, and tennis courts-is supported with programs administered by the YMCA of High Point. Their programs capitalize on our unique amenities, such as in-house golf clinics offered by local pros, which include swing analysis and exercises that integrate recreation and physical therapy."

With North Carolina now ranking number three in top destinations for retirees, this development was designed to compete with active adult communities while being sensitive to the needs of frail seniors. In the site layout, for example, nestled amid the nine remaining holes, two intimate cottage communities were formed, with additional active-lifestyle amenities. These clusters flank the main buildings to shorten the walking (or cart-riding) distance to other facilities for all the residents.

"Redeveloping a golf course is not for the faint of heart," cautions Jay Stewart, a principal at FreemanWhite. He explains: "The site design included challenges around the 'cut and fill' site work of the original golf course layout, which needed to be stabilized to support the new structures. We also had to deal with the increasingly bureaucratic process associated with altering environmentally regulated streams and wetlands. It's critically important for projects like this to have a realistic design and construction schedule. Many soil borings should be obtained early on, and costs/benefits of such intensive site work must be carefully weighed. Finally, keep plenty of contingency funds in your site-work budget." Photo by Tim Buchman Photo by Billy Simcox Photo by Billy Simcox Photo by Tim Buchman Photo by Tim Buchman Photo by Tim Buchman Photo by Billy Simcox Photo by Billy Simcox DESIGN CENTER SPONSORED BY:
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Incredible development and golf course.