Project Location

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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.

The Challenge

Lead architect Trevor Ream and his teamfrom Batson Associates, a Greenville, SouthCarolina-based firm, were tasked withcreating the desired aesthetic for the seniorliving community. To meld with its distinctsurroundings, decision makers at PresbyterianHomes wanted the appearance of the variousstructures to complement the traditional redbrick that dominates the UGA campus whileblending into the rural outskirts of Athens.“To create the desired collegiate look witha rustic edge, we needed a combination ofmaterials,” Ream noted. “The scale of theproject required that we break it down toensure a residential aesthetic. For the base,we needed a timesaving, cost-effective andconsistent product.”

The Solution

Ream consulted with Tod Cox, Echelon’sarchitectural masonry expert, who suggestedWaterford Stone, a locally manufacturedproduct that offered a wide color range and arefined ashlar pattern that would blend wellwith the brick.Athens-based Halloran Masonry, a 45-year-oldfirm with a reputation for craftmanship andprofessionalism, was awarded the contract forinstallation. Because of its structural veneer,Waterford Stone® was installed by the team inthe same manner as the brick, saving time andcost. Unlike traditional masonry, the modularfull-bed depth system was able to support thebrick and cast stone above.

CEO Shane Halloran noted “We had usedEchelon products before. The Waterford waseasy to install, easy to train people on, and ithas a classy look.”Jason Gomes, the superintendent for the projectadded, “Echelon’s pre-assembled varied sizeshelped with daily production allowing ourmasons to get the square footage in the wallneeded to stay on schedule.”The Waterford Stone theme was carried intothe interior design of the property includingvarious fireplaces and the chapel. High walls,low walls, radius walls, columns, taperedcolumns and many other features werecompleted using the product.

The Result

The outcome produced the time-honed lookof hand-cut stone with its antiqued edgesand textured face while featuring the modernbenefits of manufactured masonry.Overall sales for the homes exceeded allexpectations. The apartment phase of thecomplex initially included 70 units, but demandfor these residences resulted in a full build outof 100 units.Ream noted, “Presbyterian Homes hascultivated a gold-standard reputation for topnotchcare, which instilled confidence in theresidents who bought in early on.”The sprawling 70-acre complex is anchoredby the village center, and its surroundinggrounds include 115 cottages, 12 villas, and100 apartment homes with miles of imbeddedwalking trails. Oldcastle APG ultimatelysupplied 50,000 square feet of Echelon’sWaterford Stone in Avondale, a palette createdfrom shades of beige and brown. Available in awide range of sizes, Waterford Stone® veneersgrant unparalleled design flexibility.

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