Blog

Springwell maintains a blog and Facebook page as additional systems of communication.

We use these platforms when we have news to share with our current and future residents, as well as their family members. Please be sure to check our blog and Facebook page frequently for the latest news, announcements and accolades from Springwell Senior Living.

The Homestead Construction Update

The Homestead Construction Update: September 2017

The Homestead construction update provided by resident and Springwell’s official historian Frank Simmonds.

Looking from the veranda, the color has changed from grass green to a shade of red. More than a month was spent leveling the ground before building of The Homestead could begin. Less exciting to see, but equally important, was the burying of pipes for drainage, water, gas, electricity and a sewer system and it seemed to be happening everywhere and going on forever. Stair and elevator towers popped up helter-skelter. Foundations for walls were dug, steel rebar reinforcement rods were laid in the excavations and covered with concrete and when dried, masons laid concrete blocks. That was our first clue of the layout of apartments in Section A.

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Inside the walls the ground was compacted, covered with crushed stone, a heavy plastic sheet, and big flat steel re-bar frames, all to strengthen a concrete floor. After the floor was poured and dry, erection of the walls began. Every operation was so well choreographed! Carpenters had many sizes of pre-cut lumber they used to assemble walls flat on the floor, sort of like legos. Several men raised each completed wall and braced it in its proper position. Another wall was built, set in place, then another, and another. Outer and inner walls could now support the weight of manufactured, super strong floor joints called I-beams. After I-beams were placed, plywood was laid and carpenters had a surface on which they could do interior construction. As the building grew taller with additional floors, patches of red colored panels appeared on the exterior. The panels, manufactured of wood chips glued together, are very strong and durable, 5/8 inch thick used for siding and flooring. They are waterproof and breeze proof, and to make them more so, black adhesive strips cover every exterior seam.

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The Homestead, four floors high, needed a roof and a very tall crane came to the rescue. It lifted prefabricated roof rafters to carpenters waiting to nail them in place and one after another, the rafters turned into a ridged roof about 145 feet long, the width of four apartments. The rafters were covered with 5/8 inch ply-wood. Three more ridged roofs each about 50 feet wide were built on top of the first roof but turned 90 degrees. The roofs on a roof, can easily be seen from the veranda and the Overlook Sunroom. The entire roof was covered with heavy felt waterproof roofing material, stapled in place, ready to be covered with shingles to match those on the Carriage House.

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The Section A apartment building has many openings in its sides; the square ones are for windows, the taller slender ones are for doors. Where you see door openings, some day there will be patios or balconies below them. Construction of Section B is underway. The Homestead entrance, lounge, offices, recreation rooms, apartments, and utility rooms will be housed within. Steel beams have been erected and several walls have been assembled and set up-right. With its unique construction, this project should be very interesting to watch.

Photos courtesy of Ernie Imhoff.


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The construction of The Homestead has begun!

This was written by Frank Simmonds – our resident Historian and the unofficial Mayor of Springwell. We thought you would enjoy his update on our new Independent Living building! Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 3.50.42 PM

How often we have sat on the veranda and enjoyed the greenery of Springwell’s back yard, or have watched children ride their sleds down the hill. Well, the scenery has changed in recent months. On the first of March a protective fence was planted around the entire area to restrict trespassing on the grounds where The Homestead will be built. Ground breaking began the first of March but sev-eral weeks of intermittent rains hampered any grad-ing of the soil (not dirt). We have seen dump truck after dump truck load of soil being moved from one place to another. There is good reason for this.

Let’s say the new building and its wings will be erected on level ground, call it “grade 400,” but not all of it is level. It is more or less level in the front of the building, that is facing the corner of Wexford and Enslow Avenues, but both roads have an incline, especially Enslow in the back. It starts at grade 400 but increases to about grade 412, twelve feet higher. The back yard is also in-clined, and in order to make it level, tons and tons of soil was removed and piled where it would not interfere with construction. Notice that the bottom of the white wall is about ten feet or so below the surface of Enslow Ave. and you can understand why the upward slant of the ground made excavation necessary to make a flat surface for the new building.

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The white retention wall is special, made of hollow concrete blocks of several sizes and shapes that interlock when assembled, then filled with stone. The biggest weights about 3,000 pounds. Their job is to keep the soil along Wexford Avenue where it belongs and protect Homestead buildings and lawns.

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How about all of that equipment! There were two dump trucks shuffling soil day after day, bulldozers with shovels on their fronts lifting soil and loading it in trucks, there are several sizes of bulldozers large and small, the smallest one I named Hanna because it is so fast and can reverse its direction on a dime. There are backhoes that can reach out, dig a ditch, pull the earth to it, pile it beside itself or load it on a dump truck. The bucket on one of them is the correct size for the excavation of foundations. Then there’s the grader, look for the bulldozer with two antennas attached to it’s front bucket. The an-tennas are in touch with a disk mounted on a pole at the end of the back side-walk, the disk talks with a satellite that talks with Wohlsen’s computer (the Contractor) that instructs the blade to move up or down to level the ground – within a fraction of an inch. The driver of the grader just steers and lets the grading happen.

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Don’t miss the chance to see a building being built. Look out the window in the Overlook Sunroom to see skilled workers excavating ditches for footings of walls, laying rebar in them for strength, filling them to a precise level with concrete, then laying cement blocks on top forming walls of the first wing of the building. The Homestead is growing right before your eyes!


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Memory Care Director Anita Green Earns National Certification

Anita Green is a special person….and we are privileged to have her as our Memory Care Director in our Gardens Pavilion.  Anita is one of our most experienced nurses and has worked at Springwell for 17 years.

Recently, Anita pursued her National Certification for Activities Professionals – a program requiring extensive independent study and classwork – and she recently received recognition for her completion.  Our Gardens Pavilion has its own Activities Director, but Anita believed it was important for her to strengthen her knowledge of this important aspect of therapeutic programming.

Anita Receives NCCAP Cert

Springwell has a strong clinical foundation with Anita leading the program as an LPN. She is always looking for new learning opportunities & challenges, and became our Memory Care Director in June 2015.

Congratulations and thank you to Anita for always striving to make Springwell a safe, warm & vibrant place for our residents to live.


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We’re Breaking New Grounds at Springwell!

What a glorious day for a groundbreaking! We had the honor of having the Mayor, along with many elected officials, participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for our new Independent Living Residences. We had over 100 attendees watch Phil Golden, John Chay, Neil Meltzer from LifeBridge Health, and many of our much loved residents and coworkers do the ceremonial dig on our beautiful new Homestead building. We are “breaking new ground” with our new partnership with LifeBridge and we couldn’t be more pleased.

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The residences are for full-service Independent Living.  The monthly fees include a meal program, activities, scheduled transportation, housekeeping, utilities, wellness checks, etc, etc.

The residences are larger on average and of a greater variety than those available previously from Springwell for Independent Living.  Most units have balconies or patios; never before available at Springwell.

The new Independent Living residences range in size from a 1 BR / 1 Bath at 600 sq ft (The Brooks) to a 2 BR / 2 Bath corner at 1,130 sq ft (The Peabody).  In-between those are the 1 BR / 1.5 Bath at 740 sq ft (The Hopkins), the 1 BR & Den / 1.5 Bath (The Mencken) and the 2 BR / 2 Bath at 1,000 sq ft (The Newberry).  In addition, there are many gracious common areas including the Library, Courtyard, Pub, Living Room, Dining Room and Multipurpose Classroom among others.

Opening is planned for July, 2018.  Pre-leasing will begin this July.

 


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Phil Golden Judges Aging 2.0 Tech Accelerator

Springwell’s Director and Principle, Phil Golden, was one of 7 Judges for Aging 2.0′s Technology Accelerator.  Aging 2.0′s Baltimore chapter is part of a wide network focused on highlighting innovation for the senior community. Their mission is to help health entrepreneurs test and validate their technology by working with mentors as well as senior focus groups.

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Springwell will be piloting this years winner – Reciprocare.   Reciprocare founder Charlene Brown won $5,000. Her startup connects agencies with caregivers, and helps low-income women find jobs.

The two-month accelerator included 12 focus groups at senior communities where startups had a chance to get feedback.  Wearables startup Cyber Timez won second place recognition, while another four startups — TechStar TutorsSilver SedansReachOut and Agewell Biometrics — will get access to pilot programs at CHAI and Springwell Senior Living.  You can read the entire article in Technical.ly Baltimore here.

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