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Historic Franklin High School rehabilitation project receives two major community
Historic Franklin High School rehabilitation project receives two major community
Two grants, one from the Obici Healthcare Foundation and one from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Oct. 7, 2013) – Two grants, one from the Obici Healthcare Foundation for $500,000 and one from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for $75,000 will be a major boost to the $1.5 million capital campaign supporting the adaptive rehabilitation of Hayden High School, an historic African American high school located in rural Franklin, Virginia.  The new Hayden Village Center being developed by Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia is intended as a mixed use facility housing a number of much needed community services, primarily for seniors and children, all under one roof.

Senior Services’ CEO, John Skirven announced today that the nonprofit has recently received the grant commitments from the two foundations in support of the project’s capital development. 

“We've worked for over five years with city leaders in Franklin to make this project a reality,” says Skirven. “The HaydenVillageCenter will provide transformational change for the citizens and the city.  We are deeply grateful to the boards of directors of both the Obici Healthcare Foundation and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for their vision and support.”  

Intended use for the completed HaydenVillageCenter includes an adult day health care center, and the consolidation into the new building of all of Senior Services current rural aging center programs and services currently provided in Franklin.  A full service café will be located onsite, and it will be used to prepare over 40,000 meals per year for the senior programs onsite and for home delivery to isolated seniors. 

The City of Franklin has the highest percentage of population over the age of 65 in all of South Hampton Roads, along with the highest percentage of low income population, and the highest rate of diabetes and other chronic health issues, according to the Virginia Community Health Atlas 2011. 

Hayden Village Center will also be home to the local Head Start program, offering opportunities for inter-generational programming opportunities. An African American heritage museum/library will be situated in the historic school’s former library, and community development and enrichment programs for youth will be offered onsite, managed by the Hayden Alumni Group, a local nonprofit formed by local Hayden alumni. Fifteen per cent of The Hayden Village project will include one-bedroom apartment units for seniors.  The building will also house a primary care medical office on-site. 

According to Skirven, his agency is presently in conversations with other community partners such as Paul D. Camp Community College and the City and the Franklin Parks and Recreation Department exploring additional use. 

In addition to its social impact, the economic impact on the city is an estimated $11.6 million dollars, and includes much needed jobs. The construction phase itself will bring 99 new jobs into a population where unemployment levels have not yet recovered from the closure of the city’s paper mill. The completed HaydenVillage will retain 42 jobs annually realizing $1.2 million in wages, and 45 new jobs annually, with $1.3 million in wages.

The rehabilitated building will retain the Hayden name in tribute to the historic school’s namesake, Della I. Hayden, the daughter of a freed slave who founded a private boarding school for African American girls, “The Franklin Normal School,” in 1904.  She is remembered as a beloved educator and roll model to this day in Franklin. The former high school, built in 1953, was named in Hayden’s honor.  It was turned into a junior high school in 1970, and remained so until it closed in 1986. The building is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register

The total project cost is $12 million. The larger part of the financing for the project will come from a variety of funding sources, including the use of Historic and New Market Tax Credits

According to Skirven, Senior Services awaits decisions on grant applications to other local and regional foundations, and continues to pursue other major gifts from private sources, all to fund the remaining capital campaign goal.  A grass roots campaign initiated by local “Friends of Hayden” is also actively under way.   

Senior Services is looking to break ground in late November of this year. Planned construction should take about 12 months.

Historic Franklin High School rehabilitation projectreceives two major community grants 

Press Contacts

Debbie Schwartz
Director of Development and Community Relations


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