Londonderry Village is growing with the needs of its residents through the Fox Run project

Over the last 40 years, something new has developed on the former Luke Grubb farm southeast of Palmyra.

Londonderry Village – founded in the late 1970s as the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home – is no longer owned by the Church of the Brethren, but has chosen to join due to an enduring connection to the beliefs of its founders.

“There’s an atmosphere of volunteerism and giving back to the community and philanthropy on this campus,” Jeff Shireman, president of Londonderry Village, said in an interview with LebTown.

Shireman said that since the home opened in 1979, it has never asked anyone to leave home because they ran out of money for health care, but has instead found ways to subsidize their care.

“There is definitely a difference in atmosphere here compared to other senior communities

Originally built with 100 care units and 40 residential units, the campus is now home to around 565 people, most of whom live independently and are looked after by around 200 employees.

Londonderry Village is now embarking on a multi-year, multi-million dollar project to scale its community atmosphere to serve a larger population. Over the past 15 years, the organization has planted the seeds to expand its operations south on land previously leased to farmers. On this land, Londonderry Village will build Fox Run, a multi-phase development that will significantly expand the senior living community’s capacity to provide ongoing care in a manner that meets the evolving tastes of the emerging elderly population.

“We’re ready to expand,” Shireman said.

Fox Run will eventually add approximately 110 apartments to Londonderry Village’s South Campus.

The Fox Run project was originally designed around 2007-08 but was constrained by North Londonderry Township’s sewerage capacity at the time. Shireman said that was probably a good thing, as the recession followed shortly after, limiting potential residents’ ability to sell their homes and move.

Londonderry Village turned around and built a residential building instead, which saw extremely high demand and sold out before it even opened. Shireman said about three or four years ago, Londonderry Village took the idea of ​​developing the south campus off the shelf and started planning again.

While the planning and permitting process took longer than expected, a positive side effect was that the county reviewed stormwater and utility plans for all three proposed phases of the project, so phases two and three should bring an easier permitting process.

General view of the proposed multi-phase Fox Run project to be built on Londonderry Village’s South Campus. Phase one is shown in the center, with the left part of the additions highlighted in green. (photo provided)

Although Shireman says there is already interest in phase two, the focus right now is fully on phase one, a $20-25 million expansion that will add 35 units — seven single-family homes, two two-unit townhouses and two hybrid apartment buildings with 12 units each.

The part of the first phase of Fox Run can be seen below left. (photo provided)

The “pocket neighborhood” of the first phase is oriented around a common green area with access routes from alleys behind the buildings. “What green space does is encourage more socialization,” Shireman said, noting that especially during the pandemic, the importance of outdoor space has become very clear.

The hybrid residential units combine the advantages of traditional ranch houses and shared apartments. The apartments each have at least two different compass exposures that maximize natural light and a move-in garage.

There are other design changes between the new Fox Run development and the existing Londonderry Village designs. Shireman said focus groups were conducted with people on the community waiting list because the “baby boomer” generation has different wants and needs than previously admitted residents.

Shireman said the focus group showed that today’s residents want as much space as possible, as well as finishes like granite countertops, vinyl plank floors, stainless steel appliances and larger garages. Londonderry Village incorporated these insights into the plans for Fox Run, designed by SFCS Architects.

One of the things that sets Londonderry Village’s independent living options apart from other senior living communities is that, as a continuous care facility, Londonderry Village can adapt its offerings to residents as their needs change. “As your circumstances change, there are options,” Shireman said.

The minimum age in Londonderry Village is 62, but residents in their 80s or 90s have also moved into independent living. There is a safety net in place should a stroke or dementia affect residents’ ability to care for themselves and keep them in their current home.

An example of these options is moving to one of Londonderry Village’s Green House facilities, an alternative to a traditional care home design where the institutional character is greatly reduced.

Although Londonderry Village Green Houses are licensed and regulated as care homes, they only house 10 residents and do not have a traditional care ward. Instead, residents maintain their own private room and full private bath in a 7,000- to 8,000-square-foot ranch home with an open living/dining room and on-site kitchen.

Londonderry Village is the only Green House community in Pennsylvania, operating six of only about 400 Green Houses in existence statewide.

Shireman said this concept was particularly well-received during the pandemic, with fewer staff traveling around the facility and nurses typically working in the same building day-to-day.

Shireman also said Londonderry Village is working to offer more home care.

Perhaps the biggest limitation to these options right now is finding staff. Londonderry Village had to temporarily close two of its greenhouses earlier this year due to staffing issues. One of the facilities is expected to reopen later this summer and the other will be offline until the fall as the opportunity is taken to revamp the facility.

Although healthcare in general is very labor intensive, the Londonderry Village experience offers a unique opportunity to get to know people in a way not possible in acute or ambulatory care. That could be one of the reasons why Londonderry Village has had hiring success so far this year at a time when many healthcare workers are burned out. Shireman said Londonderry Village has hired 34 people so far this year, compared to 40 hires in a typical calendar year.

“In long-term care, we get to know our people over weeks or months or even decades,” says Shireman. “We had a couple over 30 years old in their independent residential apartment.”

Although a downside is that the grief is a little deeper than other types of healthcare, it’s a rich experience getting to know the residents, Shireman said.

“Some of them have been everywhere and have done everything.”

Shireman said Londonderry Village already has some pre-sales for the first phase and with the funding construction will begin once the site can be excavated and roads straightened. Arthur Funk & Sons will be the general contractor on the project, as they have done for many Londonderry Village projects in the past.

“They are very good at delivering projects on time and on budget,” Shireman said.

Shireman expects the public to see “dirt fly and concrete pour” in a few months.

Unlike many projects currently under construction, Shireman said this one should be relatively isolated from supply chain pressures, as Londonderry Village pre-purchased the lumber, windows and other materials for phase one about a year ago and stored it on campus Has.

Shireman and Londonderry Village Board will gauge consumer response to phase one while refining plans for phases two and three.

“We offer a variety of options,” Shireman said. “If any of these things sell or don’t sell, that’s likely to change our designs in phase two.”

More single-family houses and terraced houses are currently planned in phase two than in phase one.

Shireman said Lebanon County can be difficult to get people to sign up for the project in advance, although there is already interest in a phase two reversal. However, once construction begins, Shireman said Londonderry Village almost inevitably sells out before it’s finished.

“We get a lot of calls, but until we start shoving the dirt, people are reluctant to sign up,” Shireman said.

For more information about Fox Run, see FoxRunAtLV.org.


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