published Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

'Platinum' senior housing planned in Rhea County, Tenn.

This is the four-acre property, owned by We Care Community Services, that the nonprofit organization plans to develop into energy-efficient senior housing units.
Photo by Kimberly McMillian
This is the four-acre property, owned by We Care Community Services, that the nonprofit organization plans to develop into energy-efficient senior housing units. Photo by Kimberly McMillian

DAYTON, Tenn. — The nonprofit agency We Care Community Services plans to develop a four-acre Dayton property into a “platinum” senior citizen housing, officials said.

President Walter Ring said the energy-efficient units would be the first such development in the area. He said the funding would come from an economic development loan and private contributions.

Ring did not have an estimate of the cost of the project.

The seven or eight units will feature recycled “gray water” from showers or laundry filtered and used for irrigation, Ring said. He said each unit would be about 900 square feet and feature an open floor plan, front porch, rear deck and an easily maintainable private yard.

The community layout, described as a “pocket neighborhood,” will offer picturesque, garden views for its residents, Ring said.

We Care is partnering with students from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville School of Architecture on the design.

Katherine Ambroziak, an assistant professor at the university, said 14-16 fifth-year students will start the design after Ring visits the campus.

Ring said not all of the site above Dayton Mountain Highway is usable, and that the students will provide ideas to develop the community.

Ambroziak said the students will visit the site to work on their design.

“We’re very excited about the process,” she said, calling the relationship with We Care “a partnership that will develop over time.”

We Care Community Services, founded in 1982, has provided a range of services to more than 10,000 low-income residents of Rhea County. It operates the Safe Haven Light, Sparrow Village and Haven House residences.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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