New pavilion takes award-winning care at Penney Farms to new level

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 9/3/19

PENNEY FARMS – Care at the original Pavilion for Health Care at Penney Retirement Center was so so-widely phrased, the facility earned the Governor’s Gold Seal award for each of the past 18 …

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New pavilion takes award-winning care at Penney Farms to new level

Posted

PENNEY FARMS – Care at the original Pavilion for Health Care at Penney Retirement Center was so so-widely phrased, the facility earned the Governor’s Gold Seal award for each of the past 18 years.

So the massive community west of Green Cove Springs decided to build on that success with another pavilion.

The $10 million, 50-bed building opened two weeks ago. According to PRC president and CEP Teresa Scott, it’s been a smooth transition.

“We’re moving things a little a time so everyone can get adjusted,” she said. “I think everyone has been really pleased with the move. It’s certainly something we’ve needed, and it will serve our entire community.”

Every room and common area have windows, and many rooms have a view of the community’s chapel. The hallways are wide, bathrooms are modern and there’s plenty of activities to keep everyone busy.

“We care for each other,” Scott said.

The original pavilion has 40 beds. And when both still have 24-hour nursing care, the new pavilion has its own laundry and dining rooms.

“Not every room had a shower; not every room had a telephone in the first pavilion,” Scott said. “It aged with time.”

Food had to be prepared in a separate kitchen and carted through two parking lots ahead of each meal at the first pavilion. And with only five tables, residents had to eat in shifts.

The new pavilion is so spacious and self-contained, it’s big enough to provide all Penney Farms residents – more than 500 of them – shelter from a storm.

A path encircling both pavilions and a small pond is nearly a mile-long, and it meanders through shaded trees. There are several benches for rest and reflection, Scott said, along the route.

Money to build the new pavilion came from the sale of bonds, fundraising and from residents and employees. More than $3 million was donated by residents and employees, Scott said.

Most rooms overlook a courtyard and the pond. Each room also has a bird feeder facing the back window.

“The feeders were built and donated by BASCA,” Scott said, “and the residents painted their own feeder.”

For more information about Penney Farms, call (904) 284-8200.

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