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New England’s Next Great Retirement Community Breaks Ground in Lebanon

August 20 -- On August 20, 2008, Alice Peck Day Health Systems broke ground for the Woodlands at Harvest Hill, beginning a significant new chapter in its mission to serve the needs of the community. More than 150 people, including future Woodlands residents, their families and friends, attended the ceremony. “This is an incredibly exciting day for us,” said Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital President Harry Dorman. “The Woodlands represents a vital next step in our commitment to serve the evolving needs of seniors in our community. When we opened Harvest Hill in 1996, we strove to set a new standard for quality of care, services, and lifestyle. As our reputation grew, so did our waiting list, and for the past five years it has been clear that there was a much greater demand than our current facility could fulfill.”

Alice Peck Day’s administration and board members decided the time had come to address the need. “We started by convening a focus group of people on the waiting list for Harvest Hill and asking them what they wanted in their next residence,” said Rolande “Ron” Andrews, the administrator for Harvest Hill and the Woodlands. “We found they knew what the various retirement communities in the area had to offer, and none of them quite fit their needs. Many were ready to downsize, but still wanted a larger amount of residential space and more amenities than most senior living developments offered. They wanted gracious accommodations in a comfortable and convenient setting, with support in place to give them peace of mind as well as the ability to make choices about their own care. The Woodlands is a realization of their vision.”

To meet this challenge, Alice Peck Day turned to UK Architects of Hanover. “In designing the Woodlands, we kept in mind what the future residents told us they wanted, as well as ways that we could improve how the residents would live and interact,” said Chris Kennedy of UK Architects. “We were extremely fortunate in that the Woodlands started with a wonderful location in a forest that once surrounded a farm and pasture. In creating a building that would fit seamlessly into the setting, we looked for ways to protect that unique environment for future generations and to contribute to the Woodlands community’s sense of character.”

The new community is already taking shape. “This summer, I’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm that I’ve been hearing from people regarding the project, and almost all of the largest apartments have been reserved,” said Andrews. “It’s a wonderful and amazing group of people who have already decided to make the Woodlands their home. As I look toward the next stages, the construction and development of the community itself, I am extremely excited to see how these great people shape what the Woodlands will become.”