The renovations will bring updates and new spaces to Grace Ridge's common areas. (Photo Credit: graceridge.org)

The Grace Ridge retirement community in Morganton, N.C., is reportedly expanding a plan to remodel and revitalize 5,000 square feet of their residential campus. The project had been estimated for completion by the beginning of 2021, although there is scant information regarding its current status.

According to a report from the construction info tracking company Dodge Data and Analytics, nearly all such projects have suffered some delay in projected completion because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While not confirmed, this could be a possible explanation for any delays.

That is likely the case with tours of the facility, as well, which are offered only by appointment and in-person basis. Due to the number of COVID-19 high-risk residents, Grace Ridge has limited outside visitors.

Operated by Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, the facility includes many unique opportunities for residents: they offer a back-to-school program that allows participation in courses offered at Grace Ridge University, as well as Western Piedmont Community College’s culinary classes. Another plus — unlike many retirement communities in North Carolina — Grace Ridge is not affiliated with a specific religion. It does, however, offer nondenominational worship services and Bible studies on a weekly basis. Additionally, through the guidance of the organization SAGE, Islamic studies are also available.

The national Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for any state-funded unit to discriminate based on sex, race, color, religion, handicap, familial status, or national origin. It should be noted that sexual orientation is not protected under this law (although an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Jan. 25 and based on the Bostock v. Clayton Supreme court ruling does provide protection for the LGBTQ community in housing, healthcare and education). Grace Ridge has set itself apart from other homes boasting Fair Housing practices by undergoing SAGECare Training.

The primary goal of SAGECare is to celebrate LGBTQ elders and create safer living spaces for seniors in later age. This training has given Grace Ridge the credentials to better interact with and welcome prospective LGBTQ residents, as well as their visiting families.

For more details on the facility, visit www.graceridge.org. You may also explore their Facebook page. To inquire about a potential tour of the Grace Ridge facilities, contact: jeffrey.bright@blueridgehealth.org

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