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September 1, 2005
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"A Room With A View" Westview Meadows Montpelier, Vermont by Robert Volzer, CID, IIDA
Westview Meadows
MONTPELIER, VERMONT PROJECT SUMMARY

Type of Facility/Setting: Independent Living/Assisted Living

Chief Administrator: Andrea Taylor, Executive Director, (802) 223-1068

Architecture: MorrisSwitzer-Environments for Health, Williston, Vermont, (802) 878-8841

Interior Design: Currier & Associates, Inc., (978) 465-7644

Photography: ¬2005 Carolyn L. Bates (carolynbates.com)

Resident Capacity: 36 Independent Living apartments, 16 Residential Care (AL)

Total Project Area (square feet): 71,000

Construction Cost: Not released

Cost/Sq. Ft.: Not released


'A Room With a View'
BY ROBERT VOLZER, CID, IIDA, VOLZER DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

Residents enjoy the natural setting of a 25-acre site, with spectacular mountain views and open meadows, from within the four-season sunroom located in each apartment. This facility offers both a residential care "household" of 16 one-bedroom apartments and 36 one- and two-bedroom independent living apartments. Westview Meadows reflects the intimacy of Montpelier, a city of only 8,000 people, in its design and culture. The facility encourages socialization and is "family friendly," with the residential care program using the dining room, country kitchen, and activity space to support its residents. The independent living apartments are connected by common areas that include a fitness studio, hair salon, library, separate dining room, and private dining room that residents may reserve. All dining and common areas are open to both groups of residents.

Westview Meadows was born out of the traditions and mission of owner OM Fisher's board of trustees, who also own and administer The Gary Home, a stately, level-three residential care home for women. To address the shortage of senior housing in Central Vermont and expand on their tradition of caring for aging local residents-and with the passing of their last "lifetime care resident"-the board decided they should invest in additional housing. After looking at numerous existing properties to renovate, and on the advice of consultants who had concluded through studies that residents would prefer to stay in the community, they purchased a hillside parcel overlooking the city for the construction of a new facility.

Floor plans for the apartments include full-scale residential kitchens to complement the three-meal, restaurant-style dining services offered; a washer/dryer unit; comfortable room sizes; and accessible shower stalls. Apartments have one or two bedrooms and one, one and a half, or two baths; the largest models include a den. The wide variety of apartment layouts encompasses sizes ranging from 742 to 818 square feet for a one-bedroom apartment, 885 to 1,194 square feet for a typical two-bedroom, and up to 1,426 square feet for a two-bedroom, two-bath, with den.


I feel the design team put together a project that respected the organization's heritage and mission by including board members' and residents' input during the planning stages. They have included a nice level of services and amenities for a 52-unit complex that is designed and constructed for low maintenance and affordability.

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