An Investment in Our Future
Since opening in 1979, the Hunters Woods Fellowship House has served hundreds of residents and provided a place for both community meetings and resident activities. Walking into Hunters Woods Fellowship House today, you would see that the building could use some upgrades.
Planning for the renovation of the House was a two-year-long venture taken on by the Hunters Woods Board of Directors and Fellowship Square’s senior leadership. The property’s condition and repair needs were analyzed, and input from residents, staff, and management was collected. Working together with architects and engineers, two phases of the project were identified: Phase I includes ‘essential’ repairs; Phase II includes modernization and more cosmetic improvements. Financing to pay for the project was applied for, and the loan closed in January of 2020.
Work began shortly after the new year, but due to the pandemic, a hold was put on the project in March. From the onset of COVID-19, the Board was clear that the residents’ safety was the first priority and there would be no compromises on that. Infectious disease specialists were consulted on safety protocols and information on implementing stringent sanitation practices was gathered. Finally, after much research and deliberation, Fellowship Square, the HW Board and Management were convinced that a limited scope of work (exterior, basement, parking lot, men’s/women’s public restrooms – basically, areas cordoned off or inaccessible to residents) could proceed safely in April.
An additional safety plan was approved to convert the Dining Hall into a “Relaxation Zone” to accommodate up to 20 residents at a time (with social distancing and all other safety protocols in place) while in-unit replacement of air conditioning units was done, starting late July. Frequent communication with residents and their families has begun, and weekly zoom meetings are conducted for residents and families to discuss questions and concerns.
By refinancing the project, funds are available not only to make major improvements to the building including heating/cooling systems, converting 12 units into fully accessible units and fully modernizing the common space, but also to have funds to invest in future projects including the addition of other properties to the Fellowship Square portfolio.
The renovation project is expected to be completed in 2021.