As snowflakes gracefully descend from the sky, they gather to form a captivating blanket of white over the rolling hills and picturesque valleys surrounding Woodlands. The snow transforms the landscape into an enchanting wonderland, evoking nostalgic memories of childhood days spent building snowmen and sledding down hills for many residents.

Amidst this scenic backdrop, however, the issue of safety looms large. And that is where the maintenance team at Woodlands shines the brightest.

In any weather, in any scenario, Woodlands’ maintenance team jumps into action and works around the clock to serve the residents and guests of our wonderful community.

“The maintenance crew here at Woodlands is wonderful,” said Ed Rahal, a five-year resident of the community. “They are very concerned about all of us here and are always on top of everything. And on days like this, their snow removal is wonderful here.”

A Dedicated and Mighty Team

During the first major snowstorm of 2024, a delivery driver reached the top of the hill at Woodlands and shared his treacherous drive – until he got to the road leading to Woodlands. “Your road is the best road in town,” he shared.

That is the pride the team at Woodlands takes in keeping its roads clean and its residents safe. And it is not just the roads – it is the parking lot, the sidewalks, the entrances, even assisting residents in cleaning their cars. Additionally, that roadwork includes clearing some public roads connecting to the private Woodlands drive.

On a day like this, the 10-person maintenance team works through the night and day, ensuring the day-to-day operations of Woodlands continue without interruption. That includes regular maintenance and preparation for a fleet of trucks, off-road vehicles, plows, and plenty of salt to last the season.

“When a storm hits, there are a few that stay inside and run regular work orders, and the rest of us work on the snow,” said Dewey Romans, Maintenance Director at Woodlands who has been with the community for more than 20 years. “Some drive the trucks, some grab a shovel or snowblower, but we do our best to keep the place clean.”

And that is where the above-and-beyond part of this equation comes into play.

During a typical month at Woodlands, the maintenance team responds to between 1,200 and 1,500 regular work orders – from clogged drains to helping hang a picture – the majority of which are resolved within 24 hours. It is the very definition of maintenance-free living as the Woodlands team maintains flawless grounds, a rapid response to issues, and a safe environment when inclement weather hits.

“We take a lot of pride in the safety, security, and well-being of our residents,” Romans said.

Service with a smile

Observing the work of the maintenance crew amid the first major snowstorm of the year, Susie Jones, a five-year resident of Woodlands, said, “These guys are awesome. They are here early, they work late, and they are out there in the cold. They never complain, and they always have a smile.”

That is the kind of thing that Woodlands CEO Jeff Harkins loves to hear. In his more than 30 years in operations within the senior living industry, he had never seen a response to a weather event quite like this – until he got to Huntington.

“This team is on-call, and as soon as the snow begins to fall, they start coming in waves,” Harkins said. “It is an all-hands-on-deck situation. They get geared up and get to work. And they take unbelievable pride in what they do.”

From the maintenance team to contracted workers, the team gets to work on the roads first, then entrances, parking lots, and then the cottages.

“The first snow I experienced here (in 2015) I had never seen anything like it,” Harkins shared. “There are communities that hire it out because they don’t have enough maintenance people or the equipment, and they have to wait on that company to clear a path. Our team gets to work, and they don’t stop until it is over. It is the best snow removal I have ever seen.”

After nearly a decade at the helm of Woodlands, Harkins remains impressed every time the maintenance team is called into action. It is especially satisfying considering the size and breadth of the 171-acre LifeCare community, the only community of its kind in the Tri-State area. Woodlands boasts both independent living apartments and cottages and a flourishing assisted living community.

“When you factor in the size of the community, the span of it, and how much road and parking lot we have, plus the sidewalks that wrap around the community, it is impressive the scope of it,” Harkins said. “We clean the street all the way from Fifth Street to the community for the safety and convenience of the residents and guests of Woodlands.”

Experience the freedom of maintenance-free living

Ask any resident of Woodlands, and they’ll eagerly highlight the advantages of not having to shovel a driveway, clear snow off a car, or navigate through crowded grocery stores during the winter months.

Embracing maintenance-free living translates to the freedom to lead your regular, active lifestyle in the company of friends within the cozy embrace of a supportive community. Discover Woodlands living by reaching out to us at (304) 697-1620 to arrange your visit today!

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