LoveSong project flying forward with Parrott contribution

(Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)
JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

The John M. And Bernice Parrott Foundation have made a $250,000 contribution to the not-for-profit LoveSong Seniors Housing and Community Hub.

The community initiative to transform the former Pinecrest Memorial elementary school in Bloomfield into much needed affordable housing geared to Prince Edward County’s seniors is getting help from the Quinte Region’s preeminent charitable organization.

The funding is designated to cover the costs associated with the municipal rezoning submission, legal fees, preliminary drawings/designs, business plan, survey, as built drawings, detailed design and specifications and tender documents and administration.

The group, which is aiming to turn the former school into a 50 affordable housing units and community hub with a variety of services and amenities for use of both LoveSong tenants and the entire community, took possession of the former centennial-era school in late 2020 from the County of Prince Edward.

“We are absolutely thrilled for the funding from the Parrott Foundation as it will be a tremendous help in getting everything ready for construction,” said Ken How, chair of the LoveSong Board. “We are also thankful for the endorsement of such a tremendous organization as the Parrott Foundation.”

In Phase One of the LoveSong project, the goal is to renovate the school to accommodate 50 self-contained housing units equipped with bedroom, sitting area, kitchenette and private bathroom. 

The facility will also include a shared meeting area for the residents, complete with full kitchen, dining room and laundry facilities, as well as a three season courtyard.

What was formerly the Pinecrest gymnasium will serve both the residents of LoveSong as well as members of the surrounding community as a community hub. As such, it will provide recreational, cultural and wellness activities including fitness classes, theatre, hobby and meeting facilities.

Dependent on attaining necessary funding, the goal of organizers is to start construction this fall with building occupancy by late 2022.

Demolition inside the school is well underway and a number of surplus items from the school are available for a donation. 

Census data from 2016 indicates that local demographics have skewed significantly to an older population with 49 per cent over the age of 55 and the number of seniors 65 and older surpass the number of children under the age of 14 by 2.5 times.

“An increasing number of seniors are voicing the need for smaller, more easily maintained housing options,” added How. “LoveSong aims to provide affordable housing to seniors 65 plus, who are at an increased safety risk in their homes but could remain independent with the right mix and level of support services.”

For more information, visit www.lovesonghousing.org .