The sun shone bright on 860 Oak Street in Franklin on Monday, Oct. 23 as approximately 60 invited guests gathered for an official groundbreaking marking the restart of construction to rehabilitate the historic Hayden High and Junior High School building into the Hayden Village Center. The Hayden Village Center is a project of Hayden Village Associates, LLC, formed as a partnership for the purposes of the rehabilitation between SSSEVA and Luna Development Services, LLC of Norfolk. Construction under Ashett Construction resumed late this past summer.
Cathy Dalton, chairman of the board for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia (SSSEVA) kicked off the festivities in a ceremony that included remarks by U. S. Congressman Bobby Scott (3rd Dist., VA); The Honorable Roslyn Tyler, (75th Dist.), Virginia House of Delegates; The Honorable Frank Rabil, mayor, City of Franklin; Edna King, representing the Hayden High School Alumni Association; Thresa Joyce, senior vice president, senior loan officer at Virginia Community Capital, Inc.(VCC); and Shekinah Mitchell, Neighborhood Partnerships manager at Local Initiatives Support Program (LISC). VCC is a community development financial institution whose purpose is to support community investment and economic development in underserved communities in the Commonwealth. LISC supports projects that designed to advance equitable development of historically underinvested neighborhoods. Both organizations worked with Hayden Village Associates to put together the finance package necessary to resume and complete the work on the project. Commonwealth Advisors is the historic tax credit consultant and Commonwealth Preservation Group acts as the historic architectural consultant.
When it opens in late summer 2018, the existing 47,995 square foot brick building will be brought back to life as a mixed-use space housing 27 affordable one-bedroom senior apartments for a total of 19,008 square feet in residential rental space, and in conjunction with master tenant Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia – a web-based No Wrong Door access center for aging and disability services and flexible space for community health and counseling. The building’s large multi-purpose room which will house SSSEVA’s senior center nutrition site – presently housed across the street at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, will be available in the late afternoons and weekends for youth basketball and other community activities. A commercial grade limited warming kitchen will be available to support the food service needs of SSSEVA’s daily senior luncheon program as well as community and business meetings.
The building, named for Della I. Hayden, the daughter of a freed slave who became a beloved community educator in Franklin, was approved in December 2012 in the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Board of Historic Resources and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.