Letter – An idea for  senior housing

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Covenant Place, Isle of Wight’s low-income senior project in Smithfield, has a 20-person waiting list. Springdale, IW’s low-income senior project near Franklin, has a 43-person waiting list. We are told other low-income projects like Jersey Park with some seniors are moving toward regular rent.  

Isle of Wight needs another low income senior project.  

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We should postpone the demolition of the 86,000-square-foot old Hardy Elementary School and see if part of it could be salvaged for a low-income senior project, similar to the Hayden Village Center in Franklin. It could save thousands of dollars in future construction of a low-income senior project.  

Also, a senior project immediately next to an elementary school would be a boon for seniors and students. As grandparent types, seniors would be perfect mentors for children. Students, full of life, would be a balm for old age. 

Isle of Wight, with 8,000 people 65 and older, has been projected by the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia to increase to 11,300 seniors by 2030. The waiting lists will continue to grow. It would be a shame to tear down old Hardy Elementary this June, next month, without first evaluating the structure for the possibility of low-income senior housing.  


Thomas Finderson