UK students helping seniors design new gathering space

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Posted at 10:43 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 22:45:04-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Most of us have been spending more time outside trying to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic.

The Ashland Terrace Retirement Community is getting help from University of Kentucky students so they can add more outdoor space.

"We have an extraordinary group of women here so it's just — some people paint, some read, all kinds of activities," said Ruth Stewart, who has lived there for five months.

Stewart spent Thursday afternoon listening to landscape architecture students at UK present their plans for the space.

"My students were really tasked with developing an accessible path to get residents safely there," said Jordan Phemister, a lecturer at UK.

The area will require some reconstruction. With limited options for a family gathering space outside, the students have a plan in mind.

"The women talked about wanting to have places where they might sit down and have a meal and out here on their front porch, they don't have a lot of tables to support that activity," Phemister said.

Florence Mayer knows Ashland Terrace quite well. She has been around the community there for 15 years and lives there now. She is optimistic about what is to come.

"A lot of the people here are walkers, so having an accessible area where people can co-mingle and relax," Stewart says.