The Future of Kirkwood: Groundbreaking Ceremony

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date June 11, 2021

Last Thursday, we kicked off a campus renovation project that we hope to be the beginning of our future at Kirkwood. Members of our board of directors and Independent Presbyterian Church, representatives from our renovation partners, and the people in our community gathered to mark this momentous occasion and speak about our hopes and dreams for Kirkwood. What a blessing and privilege to be able to begin such an exciting endeavor.

This state-of-the-art expansion will include the Hillside Residences – 64 purpose-built assisted living and memory care assisted living apartments. The addition of Cedar Ridge at Kirkwood – an independent living cottage home community – will expand our offerings while providing modern, carefree living. We will reposition our existing Healthcare building to allow for 32 additional private rooms in Skilled Nursing and updates throughout. Our main campus renovation will include the addition of a new dining venue, The Overlook Cafe, which will be located in the main living area with an adjoining outside dining space overlooking the river. Tree Top Pub will be a billiards room and bar where residents can meet friends and enjoy views of the Cahaba River. Our current dining room will be renovated and rebranded as Riverside Dining. The entrance of Kirkwood will be modernized to create community connectedness, a place where all residents are able to socialize and enjoy life together.

Our president and CEO, Chad Carter, said, “We are honoring our past and looking forward to the future. We aim to create a ‘destination’ retirement community that fosters a comfortable, friendly, carefree lifestyle.”

Our Board of Directors Chairman, John Higgins, welcomed our attendees and introduced our special guests of the morning. We were honored to have the Mayor of Irondale with us representing our wonderful city, Kirkwood’s previous president, Mr. Gene Ashley, the President of our Residents’ Association, and the Senior Pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church present to share some words in support of our project. A special thanks to our Marketing Director for planning such a beautiful event to celebrate this occasion! The Kirkwood team, along with our renovation partners, Cadence Bank, Brasfield and Gorrie, KPS, Good Brand Company, TPD Architect, and Stewart Perry Construction, are eager and ready to get working on the future of our community!


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My time at Kirkwood was spectacular; they taught me how to walk again. The staff was outstanding, and the care was beyond reproach. When I arrived, I had a long way to go. I was very sick. The first night, they had to lift me as I could not move by myself. When I left, they were chasing me down the hallway. They taught me how to perform the activities of daily living again. It was the best care I could have prayed for, and on top of that, the food was spectacular.

Eli Gold Past Resident

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents