We’re planning a one-of-a-kind Center for a one-of-a-kind community!
Market Research of What Our Community Needs!
In 2008, the Senior Center commissioned the Southeastern Institute of Research (SIR) to conduct market research with current and prospective participants regarding a possible facility expansion. It focused on the following strategic questions – “What aspects of the Center hold the most value,” “How could an expanded Center better serve today’s participants,” and “How could an expanded Center accommodate the needs and expectations of tomorrow’s seniors.” SIR made use of data such as population maps of current and prospective participants, telephone interviews, as well as extensive research on population growth, demographics, and generational trends.
Ultimately, the research demonstrated that this community requires a new Center to address its growing and changing needs. The resulting recommendations regarding location, programming, membership model, and satellite delivery motivated the Senior Center to initiate strategic long-term plans for a new Center.
In 2015, the Senior Center commissioned a study by UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service which reaffirmed the SIR findings. The study assessed the changing and unmet needs of those aging in our community through demographics, population characteristics, and interviews. The researchers concluded. “Analysis of demographic and membership data, as well as conversations with area seniors highlight the importance of the Senior Center, call for a broader, expansive vision for the Center, and make the case for a modern, vibrant facility as the base for an ambitious outreach plan.”
Like communities across the country, ours is changing—and aging.
When the Centers for Disease Control says that “increasing the number of older adults who live longer, high-quality, productive, and independent lives” is one of its highest priorities for protecting our nation’s health, you can be sure we’re not dealing with a fringe issue.
In our region, seniors already comprise 14% of the population. By 2020, the number of older adults will more than double—from 27,000 to 56,000. More and more of our friends, family, and neighbors will need access to healthy aging resources.
We’ll be here for them. We have the breadth and depth of programs, a dedicated staff, a strong corps of volunteers, and a self-supporting business model that sustains our day-to-day efforts.
There’s just one problem.
We’re out of space. Demand for programs has us bursting at the seams in our current building. Our community requires—and deserves—a Center with the capacity to meet the aging issue head on. We can’t afford to wait.
Our vision is of a community that understands and embraces the power of healthy aging to positively transform lives. A transformational center—The Center at Belvedere—is pivotal to getting there.
While the Senior Center provides essential programs now, it was built primarily to accommodate social and recreational activity. In addition to the capacity to meet our burgeoning population, the 60,000-square-foot Center at Belvedere will offer dedicated functional space appropriate to the multi-dimensional activities science says we all need to age well.
More than that, at a time when we’ve become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and civic structures, this new Center—with social spaces throughout—will be a powerful force for helping us reconnect. Located in a walking-friendly, multi-generational neighborhood that shares our values of healthy lifestyles and inclusion, it will foster our role as a true community center.
The Center at Belvedere will be at the core of our community’s healthy aging initiatives.
Think about the older people you know. Family members, or your former teachers, or the neighbors down the street. Are they active and engaged, able to do for themselves and others? Consider your own life—will you have access to cutting-edge programs designed to help you stay healthy and independent for as long as possible?
The Center at Belvedere will ensure the answer is yes—for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about The Center at Belvedere, please contact philanthropy director Kirstin Fritz at 434.974.7756 or via email.