One of Milledgeville’s largest retirement homes is starting work on an ambitious new project.
In The Cottages at Woodland Terrace’s time occupying its tucked-away space on Fernwood Drive, the independent living center has served countless local seniors. After more than 10 years of maintaining 68 homes for residents in need of minimal day-to-day help, the center will offer a brand new assisted living home next year.
“We’ll be breaking ground on a 35,000 square foot building that will have 33 assisted living suites,” said Cottages’ managing partner Randy Griffin at a dedication for the new space Monday. “We’ll be getting started next Monday, so I want to go ahead right now and apologize to the residents — you’re just going to have to put up with some noise for a while.”
At the Monday morning dedication attended by Woodland Terrace residents, staff and local officials, Griffin outlined his plans for the new building and its potential impact on the Baldwin County community. In addition to its units for seniors who can navigate everyday tasks, the new center will offer a variety of services for residents in need of more regular assistance.
“The services offered in assisted living include 24-hour-a-day staff in the building who are trained to assist residents with personal care and activities of daily living,” said Joy Johnson, director of the Cottages on Wesleyan Assisted Living, one of the Cottages’ three Georgia sister facilities. “There’s always someone there, and all the suites have emergency call bells, so if you need help you can just push your button and someone will be right there with you.”
While the center now looks more like a vacant lot than a state-of-the-art $7 million facility, Monday’s groundbreaking served as an important step in getting the new building up and running. Upon its estimated completion date in August 2019, the assisted living home promises a sizable impact on Milledgeville’s local economy.
“We’ll be hiring approximately 20 new positions with a payroll in excess of half a million dollars a year,” said Griffin of the new facility. “We’ll also be adding a significant investment to the tax base of the city and the county. Our mission as a company is to improve the quality of life for all of our residents.”
For much of the past five years, Nancy Fullilove has served as community manager for The Cottages’ independent living residents. Fullilove has taken pride in what she calls a family atmosphere among Woodland Terrace residents and expressed excitement at the chance to help local residents in need of daily assistance.
“It’s going to mean a lot because it’s going to be more of a home,” said Fullilove about the assisted living center. “It’s going to allow my residents in independent living to age in place in the same community with the same friends, doctors, and churches in a safe environment. It’s hard to find a senior living community that’s as nice as ours, and as comfortable as ours, that also has assisted living.”