Bigger, Better, Bolder: The New Club Room Expansion

Since opening its doors in 2007, The Hill at Whitemarsh has had a central location for residents to gather for social events: the Club Room.

Over the years, the Club Room has been used as a place to gather before dinner, for happy hours, and for special events. As the community has continued to grow, so has the need for more space.

“Many residents get together in the Club Room, and when I first moved to The Hill in 2015, it was never difficult to get a table,” said Andy Cantor, resident of The Hill. “Eventually, the tables were full on a regular basis, and it was hard to get a seat. It’s a very social destination.”

“It’s a place to stop in and join people–both new residents and those who you have known for a long time,” said Edie Dixon, one of the first residents to move to The Hill. “You could just pull up a chair, but it was getting harder to do that, and it’s important to have enough space for everyone.”

By 2017, Andy joined the Residents Council, which works with management to enhance the residents’ quality of life. There were a variety of community projects that the Council was reviewing. The Council had sent out a survey to residents to gauge their interest in each. There was overwhelming support for expanding the existing Club Room.

The Residents Council was then able to retain Bernardon, an architecture firm, to put together a plan for the expansion, along with a budget. Then, they looped in the Development Committee, where Edie serves as one of three co-chairs, along with Pem Hutchinson and John Binswanger.

Although everyone agreed it was a worthwhile endeavor, it was a challenge to raise the funds needed for this expansion. Thanks to the determination of the group driving the project forward, by the time Andy was elected President of the Residents Council in 2018, the vast majority of residents had agreed to help fund the expansion.

“We worked in tandem with the Development Committee to help raise the money needed for the Club Room expansion. With what we had in the annual fund of the Residents Council, the funds raised by the Development Committee, and a commitment from the administration to contribute as well, we were able to finally move forward with the plans to expand in early 2020,” said Andy.

The goal of the expansion was to create a more ideal space for residents to gather and socialize. To achieve this, they pushed the Club Room outward onto the patio about 15 additional feet, changed the location of the bar, and put in a small kitchen behind the bar.

“We more than doubled the size of the Club Room,” Andy said proudly. “And we have the ability to open the doors to the Club Room to serve as an overflow space for concerts and special events held in the Founder’s Room.”

“In addition to increasing the size of the space, we also were focused on improving the ambiance of the room and being able to see outside–everyone loves the view here!” said Edie. “It’s now a useful space for other activities and events. It can be used in a variety of ways during the day because of the size and feel of the room. It turned out wonderful!”

The new Club Room opened in February, and it was a great success. Residents have reported excitement about the new space, which has already become a real destination for so many of them.

“The bar was bustling. The room was jam packed. All the tables in the Club Room were full by 5:30 that evening. It was perfect,” said Andy.