SCA Learns About Arcadia; Receives Update on Classifieds

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

The long discussed vision of a retirement community in Sewanee is staged to become a reality, Kathleen (Kat) O’Donohue told Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) members and guests at the Oct. 12 meeting. O’Donohue, a founding member of the recently incorporated senior-living project Arcadia, summarized past stumbling blocks and the new energy driving future goals. The SCA also heard an update on information important to users of Sewanee Classifieds, the community-wide email messaging service sponsored by the SCA.

O’Donohue, director of Folks at Home, became involved in the senior living project years ago when invited to a meeting by Jerry Forster, University CFO at that time. The effort stalled when a developer concluded the market was too small to make the project feasible. The vision took on new life with the formation of Sewanee Elder Care and the appointment of John McCardell as vice-chancellor in 2010. McCardell supported the effort and assigned Frank Gladu, University Vice President of Administrative Services, to act as University liaison.

As the landowner of any proposed facility and a strategic partner in the project, the University funded analyses of demographics and related factors and found 15 percent of respondents surveyed said they were likely to move to a Sewanee assisted living facility, with 10 percent replying they would do so within the next three years. The research recommended moving forward with plans for an assisted living facility with no more than 25 beds and exploring the possibility of providing independent living facilities offering a continuum of services based on residents needs.

Three sites are strong contenders, O’Donohue said—the area of Castleberry Drive within walking distance of downtown, the Alabama Ave.-Kennerly Rd. vicinity, and a tract of land bordering Georgia Ave., Finney Lane and the hospital property. Fittingly, the name Arcadia comes from an idyllic description of Sewanee by author William Alexander Percy.

O’Donohue stressed that on McCardell’s insistence residence in the facility would be monthly rent based, rather than a buy-in model with astronomical upfront costs.

The Sewanee Community Chest has pledged $1,000 in support of the project to help pay for nonprofit registration, consultation and website expenses.

New director of Sewanee Classifieds Doug Meyers said his efforts have primarily been directed toward cleaning up the website, identifying overdue accounts and sending reminders to users in arrears. Classifieds currently has 655 paid subscribers. Meyers attributed the decrease in subscribers, originally more than 1,200 emails, in part to removing duplicate, invalid and long arrears accounts from the roles during a database cleanup performed during the summer.

Classifieds recently introduced forgery detection to combat spam. When asked to return a verification code, a user should simply press “reply” and send the email containing the verification code back to the sender. “Do not copy the code and send it to all of Classifieds in a new email,” Meyers stressed. “When you reply to the verification email, your original email will be sent to the Sewanee Classifieds group.”

He said when subscribers use the service from a different device, a phone rather than their home computer for example, they are asked again to return a verification code. This safeguard prevents hackers from sending spam messages. To subscribe to Sewanee Classifieds visit .