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New senior apartments 'a long time coming'

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New senior apartments 'a long time coming'

Alice Boyce shows off her new apartment in the Reddick Senior Residences.

Alice Boyce couldn’t be happier. The 61-year-old moved into her new one-bedroom apartment at Franklin Housing Authority’s new Reddick Senior Residences a few weeks ago.

The 48-unit apartment community’s official grand opening is Thursday, Nov. 14. But members of the FHA board and advisory board, several Franklin alderman and a few other special guests got a “sneak peek” late last week.

 The new Reddick Senior Residences are conveniently located one block north of Columbia Avenue near downtown.

Boyce and the other residents who now call the new $8.5 million, three-story development home have been watching the final bits of construction and decorating in the public rooms being completed day by day in anticipation of the grand opening. Boyce and her new neighbors are also talking about what they will wear to the party. You can expect to see some Sunday best for sure.

Last Thursday, FHA media coordinator Susan Minor and Doug Johns, the FHA’s staff architect led the preview tour. Johnson explained that the 48,000-square-foot building has public areas on each of the three stories – a large meeting and community room on the first that has a “warming” kitchen, big-screen TV, comfortable pub chairs and several four-top tables, perfect for games or group dining.

This room has direct access to the large, inviting porch, complete with rocking chairs and ceiling fans.

“You might need shades out there,” Alderman Margaret Martin suggested after learning that the porch faced due west.

“Don’t worry, they’ll let us know,” Johns quickly replied, referring to the residents.

The second floor’s community room has a game table while the third-floor room is being outfitted as a library. Coin-operated laundry rooms are located on each floor.

Outside individual apartment entry doors are small shelves residents have already begun to personalize. A framed cross-stich sampler outside of one reads: “Old teachers never die. They just lose their class.”

Rent is based on income.

Thursday’s ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration begin at 1:30 p.m. It is hosted by FHA and its private sector partner, The Michaels Organization. Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson will be joined by other local, state, and federal officials.

The one- and two-bedroom units are especially designed for an elderly population. Every bathroom and bedroom has an emergency pull in case a resident needs help. Hand rails run along each hallway, but there is no hint of institutional living here. In addition to the community rooms, there are multiple seating areas. A fitness room has a treadmill and a stationary recumbent bicycle.

Access to the building requires a key card or admittance via a call system.

The location, one block north of Columbia Avenue facing Strahl Street, is perfect for the community it serves. The Williamson County Library is directly behind it, a Food Saver grocery story is around the corner and a city park is across the street.

Reddick Senior Residences is FHA’s first public-private venture. It also is the first phase of The Franklin Housing Authority’s comprehensive plan to replace obsolete public housing with modern communities serving Franklin’s seniors and families with low and moderate to middle incomes.

Mrs. Boyce thanks God for her new home, and for helping her walk again, albeit with the help of a cane or seated walker, after blood clots left her paralyzed almost a year ago. She celebrated by getting new furniture with the help of church friends, sisters Thelma Locke and Rena Prince, both of Franklin, who also decorated

For Margaret Patton, 67, her new home’s “been a long time coming” and she couldn’t be happier. “I’d been packed for months,” she said, but she still hasn’t unpacked everything. That includes her hats, many of which are still boxed. “I wear a lot of hats,” she said.

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