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Waterford Stone® Creates Refined Aesthetic to Blend with Community for Georgia Retirees

Background

The much-anticipated Presbyterian Village Athens welcomed its first residents in February 2021. Through economic downturns and unpredictable hurdles, key staff members at the nonprofit Presbyterian Homes of Georgia never gave up on their enduring vision of a holistic “life plan community” to serve retirees in the area. While the complex is nestled in a woodsy rural niche outside of Athens, the bustling University of Georgia campus, located just down the road in the heart of Athens, remains a dominant cultural influence on the region. Established in 1785, UGA has consistently ranked as the area’s top employer.

Challenge

Lead architect Trevor Ream and his team from Batson Associates, a Greenville, South Carolina-based firm, were tasked with creating the desired aesthetic for the senior living community. To meld with its distinct surroundings, decision makers at Presbyterian Homes wanted the appearance of the various structures to complement the traditional red brick that dominates the UGA campus while blending into the rural outskirts of Athens.

“To create the desired collegiate look with a rustic edge, we needed a combination of materials,” Ream noted. “The scale of the project required that we break it down to ensure a residential aesthetic. For the base, we needed a timesaving, cost-effective and consistent product.”

Solution

Ream consulted with Tod Cox, Echelon’s architectural masonry expert, who suggested Waterford Stone, a locally manufactured product that offered a wide color range and a refined ashlar pattern that would blend well with the brick.

Athens-based Halloran Masonry, a 45-year-old firm with a reputation for craftmanship and professionalism, was awarded the contract for installation. Because of its structural veneer, Waterford Stone® was installed by the team in the same manner as the brick, saving time and cost. Unlike traditional masonry, the modular full-bed depth system was able to support the brick and cast stone above.

CEO Shane Halloran noted “We had used Echelon products before. The Waterford was easy to install, easy to train people on, and it has a classy look.”

Jason Gomes, the superintendent for the project added, “Echelon’s pre-assembled varied sizes helped with daily production allowing our masons to get the square footage in the wall needed to stay on schedule.”

The Waterford Stone theme was carried into the interior design of the property including various fireplaces and the chapel. High walls, low walls, radius walls, columns, tapered columns and many other features were completed using the product.

Results

The outcome produced the time-honed look of hand-cut stone with its antiqued edges and textured face while featuring the modern benefits of manufactured masonry.

Overall sales for the homes exceeded all expectations. The apartment phase of the complex initially included 70 units, but demand for these residences resulted in a full build out of 100 units.

Ream noted,Presbyterian Homes has cultivated a gold-standard reputation for top-notch care, which instilled confidence in the residents who bought in early on.”

The sprawling 70-acre complex is anchored by the village center, and its surrounding grounds include 115 cottages, 12 villas, and 100 apartment homes with miles of imbedded walking trails. Oldcastle APG ultimately supplied 50,000 square feet of Echelon’s Waterford Stone in Avondale, a palette created from shades of beige and brown. Available in a wide range of sizes, Waterford Stone® veneers grant unparalleled design flexibility.

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