By Jesse Yeatman
Staff Writer, The Calvert Recorder
Feb. 14, 2003
The senior residents of Chapline House opened their living room to guests and local officials Tuesday afternoon to dedicate their new, modern affordable living community in Prince Frederick.
County commissioners, business owners and construction crew representatives filled the first floor of the Chapline House to receive thanks from residents and Homes for America, the non-profit organization involved in developing the senior housing.
“Thank you for letting us comes into your living room and say thanks to the community,” said Trudy McFall, chairwoman for Homes for America. “We’ve never had a building fill up as fast as this.”
Indeed, the 60 unit independent-living community was 95 percent leased before it opened in November of last year. The remaining rooms filled up quickly thereafter; and now three months after the doors open there is a waiting list of dozens. Osprey Property Group constructed the building, which lies within the 55 acres of Chapline Place.
This community consists of the senior homes, family housing, restaurants, offices and other shopping stores on the east side of Route 4 in Prince Frederick.
Osprey developer David Lewis recalled signing the initial contract in May 1996. “Five years later we are finally here,” Lewis said.
Lewis said his company has already received many calls about additions to Chapline House. A small additional building is in the developmental process, he said, but it will be a while before it is completed.
McFall thanked dozens of people and groups as the “other parts of the equation that got us here today.” County and state funding along with public and private groups were all mentioned. Most important are the residents, she said, for filling Chapline’s halls with activity.
Two residents spoke to the audience about their love for the new home. Bill Seibert spoke for himself and his wife, two of the charter residents of Chapline House. Seibert said more senior housing is being built because “we seasoned citizens are living longer.” Seibert and his wife find their new home very accommodating and thanked the county “for building places like this.”
Seibert moved back to Southern Maryland some years ago because of family. He jokingly said, “my wife likes it down this way, and of course she is the boss.”
Nancy Palmer, administrator of federal programs for Maryland, said about one out of eight Americans is 65 or older, according the 2000 Census report. “The life expectancy for a child born in 1900 was 29 years shorter than one born in 2000,” Palmer said. Our senior population deserves to be happy and comfortable, and that is what Chapline House is here for, she said.
“My family goes back to the 1600s in Calvert County,” resident Mary Jane Stump said. She spoke of finding “the perfect place” with help from her daughter, who told her about Chapline House. Stump and her mother, Jane R. Hance, are living happily in their new home after they could not keep up their old house. “Now, it’s like having an extended family living right next door to you,” Stump said.
“This is such a gorgeous building,” McFall said. “It wouldn’t be possible without the county’s help – planning and zoning and the commissioner’s support.” McFall jokingly asked the commissioners, “You are going to give us a letter for phase two, right?” County Commissioners President David Hale replied by saying he hopes McFall will join his staff sometime. “I can’t think of a better example of private and public partnership than where you sit today.”