Rick Dover, Knoxville senior housing developer and managing partner at Dover Construction, recently hosted a grand opening ceremony for Oakwood Senior Living. Here, the Knoxville native describes one of his most recent projects.
Q: How long did it take to transform the old Oakwood Elementary into the beautiful senior living campus it is today?
Rick Dover, Knoxville Senior Housing Developer: The project lasted a little over two years. It actually took about $8 million to renovate (and reimagine) the old schoolhouse. We opened in December 2015 with about 30 residents from the start.
Q: What is special about Oakwood Senior Living?
Rick Dover, Knoxville Senior Housing Developer: I don’t even know where to begin. The old Oakwood Elementary school is near and dear to many local residents’ hearts. The 62 apartments are some of the most amazing we’ve ever been able to offer and feature soaring 12 foot ceilings, open floor plans, and fantastic views. I think what really makes it special, however, is that it’s sort of a “full circle of life” project. The building started out as an educational facility for the young and now serves as a place of safety and retreat for the young at heart.
Q: How many jobs were you able to bring to the area with the opening of Oakwood Senior Living?
Rick Dover, Knoxville Senior Housing Developer: Currently, we are operating on a staff of about 30 – many are new hires from the local area. The woman who oversees the campus, Amy Wise, was actually a student at Oakwood when she was a child, making it an extra meaningful career opportunity for her.
Q: We understand this project has won your company, Dover Development, several awards?
Rick Dover, Knoxville Senior Housing Developer: It has, and that’s something I’m very proud of. We were bestowed the Knox County Mayor’s Award and the Preservationist of the Year Award. But, perhaps the biggest reward that I’ve got from this entire process is seeing it all come to fruition and watching our resident guests enjoy themselves in their new apartment homes.