Historic Franklin high school turned into multipurpose facility

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 19:03:29-04

FRANKLIN, Va. - The school formerly known as Hayden High School is no more. Instead, it will be turned into a multipurpose facility that includes 28 market-price senior apartments, a food bank and a transportation service.

The building served as a high school from 1953 to 1970 and a junior high school from 1970 to 1986, when it shut down operations.

According to the CEO of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia Steve Zollos, each apartment will have its signature uniqueness.

“The apartments here are all different,” Zollos said. “Every one [of the apartments] is different, because this has been a historic renovation and we have stayed true to the look and feel of the school. Some of the apartments actually have the original blackboard still in them, which makes them unique and really interesting to live in.”

Anne Williams, a former student of the school, says she’s excited about the multipurpose facility.

“I'm thrilled. We're calling it a one-stop shop for all things that this senior community could need,” Williams said.

One of the newest tenants of the refurbished building is the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

Ruth Jones Nichols, the CEO and President of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, said that the food bank wants to help the city of Franklin and many other cities impacted by a lack of food.

“We certainly understand that there are some communities that are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, and the city of Franklin is one of those areas,” Jones Nichols said.

Included with the 28 apartments, food bank and the I-Ride transit system are the SSSEVA wellness center operated daily for seniors 60+; SSSEVA offices including long-term services and supports, benefits counseling and nutrition counseling; the SSSEVA I-Ride regional transit dispatch center; Southampton Family Practice at Hayden medical offices operated by Southampton Memorial Hospital for people of all ages; and the No Wrong Door access center for aging and disability services.

The building is now opened on a limited basis due to COVID-19, but is available to the community in the afternoons and on weekends.

The Hayden Village Center will also provide a large multi-purpose community space available for city hall meetings, recreational play or education purposes.