Our Town Williamsburg - Great for Young and Old

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By Becky Ogann

WILLIAMSBURG - For many small towns in Iowa, there's a gap between generations not seen in larger cities. Our Town Williamsburg is doing some unique things to accommodate its changing population. For a small community, Williamsburg has big ways to accommodate young and old. We'll take a look inside Highland Ridge and discover what's it is like to grow old in Williamsburg.

And we'll also find out how two child care centers are coming together to meet the needs of working parents.

Williamsburg is a town that caters to people of all ages. Dean Epperly lives with his wife Lucille at Highland Ridge Care Center in Williamsburg. Highland Ridge offers a variety of living communities for older adults.

"What we talk about is independence. A person wants to maintain the highest level of independence they possibly can, no matter what their health concerns or situation might be," said Curt Blythe, Highland Ridge Executive Director.

The idea for the care center came from Roland Holden, founder of Holden Foundation seeds in Williamsburg. Holden had leukemia and wanted a place to live and be cared for in his own community. He passed away before the project began in 2001.

"The thing I am most grateful for...the thing that Roland wanted to do...to have a place where folks could maintain their relationships within Williamsburg but yet have a place where they feel comfortable and enjoy," said Blythe.

Young families with children can also find their niche in Williamsburg.Two area day cares are merging together to offer child care services for all ages in one building.

One of them, Kindcare Incorporated, doesn't currently have its own building- the company leases space from the school district.

"It's a lot of work to set-up and tear down, especially in the summer because the program is so big. It would be nice to have a quality, permanent space for the children," said Sandra Joseph, Kindercare Executive Director.

And now that dream is becoming reality. Kindcare and Kidz on the Ridge day cares will break ground this week on a brand new facility.

The goal of the merger is to better serve the area's working parents. Before, both centers serviced different age groups.

Whether young or old, Our Town Williamsburg is making efforts to offer the best services for everyone in the community.
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