FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS — Answers have been compiled by Village residents

  1. Why do people choose Academy Village/Altura?
  2. Who lives at Academy Village/Altura?
  3. Is the Village a congenial choice for singles?
  4. What are the monthly dues?
  5. Are meals available in the Village?
  6. What services does the Village offer?
  7. What about the medical care in the area?
  8. Where are the nearest grocery stores?

1. Why do people choose Academy Village/Altura? The whole answer to that question would be as diverse as our nearly 200 residents, but there are some large common threads:

The Setting: We love being steeped in natural beauty at the foot of the Rincon range, beneath wide-open skies with incredible stars and sunsets and vistas in every direction. We love the sensitive site planning with homes built in clusters that help us know our closest neighbors. And we love walking the nature trails that run through the Village, watching birds and wildlife up close.

The Spirit: We love the people and the almost-instant sense of community. We enjoy shaping our future for ourselves and appreciate the “can do” spirit of our groups and committees, whether hosting an artist’s reception, crafting tiles by hand for the Community Center courtyard, booking a band for our next outdoor party, teaming up to evaluate solar vendors, or brainstorming possibilities for community gardening.

The Stimulation: We especially love the stimulation that comes from our shared interests in lifelong engagement, from arts to academics to fitness. We love how often leading experts appear at ASA lectures and we love having access to University of Arizona libraries. We also love how many fine musicians play at our weekly concerts, from chamber music to bluegrass and jazz. And we have fun on many field trips with “insider tours,” from Biosphere 2, to museums of art and history, to starry nights with astronomers on Kitt Peak.

The Vitality: We love that regular exercise is as easy and pleasant as walking the Village loop at dawn or sunset, or as challenging as yoga class or weight machines or Pilates on site. Our tennis players love their regular games on our own home court with the same stunning view that our swimmers enjoy from the pool, our golfers appreciate the lovely public course only five minutes away, and our hikers think it is great to live almost next door to Saguaro National Park.

The Town: We love living in a University town brimming with art and culture where friendly locals help everyone feel at home. It makes it easier to move here and hit the ground running. We also love how Villagers team to volunteer and mentor in the larger community, from arts and music to science and literature. And we love how much they relish their giving back. That kind of synergy is especially magnetic.

In short, there are so many reasons to love living in this community that we are sure you will love it too.

2. Who lives at Academy Village/Altura? Ages: The Village was designed to be a broad-spectrum retirement community, equally comfortable for those retired and those still working at any age from 55 to 90-plus. This is exactly how it has evolved. We have a similar number of residents in each age tier from 55- 65, 65-75, and those over 75.

Interests: The Village was conceived in the 1990s when our neighbor, Henry Koffler, was still president of the University of Arizona. He wished to create a community that would encourage lifelong learning in a lovely natural setting. He began by approaching academic friends and colleagues, but it did not take long for the concept to catch on far beyond the original cadre of retiring faculty. Today, the Village is home to residents from a wide range of regions and interests. In addition to scholars, scientists, and former faculty, there are artists and entrepreneurs, engineers and educators, business and financial analysts, plus doctors, nurses, lawyers, and former judges, and dozens more with home-centered careers focused on family. Their hobbies and interests are just as diverse, from Renaissance music to poetry, foreign languages to painting, woodworking to electronics, singing, dancing and jewelry-making to motorcycles, cars and airplanes.

Geography: Our geography is as diverse as our ages and interests. Many longtime Tucsonans live here along with a sizeable group of West Coast transplants and several from the mountain states, while a substantial number of Villagers recently hail from the East Coast and the Midwest. We also have a large international contingent with countries of origin that include Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, India, China, Indonesia, and Trinidad.

Numbers: As of 2015, Academy Village had 125 occupied homes and about 180 residents. When build-out is complete there will be 264 homes and 400-plus occupants.

Occupancy: The Village is a comfortable choice for both full- and part-time residents. About two-thirds of the current homeowners are year-round residents. The remaining third divide the year between the Village and homes elsewhere.

3. Is the Village a congenial choice for singles? Nearly a third of the current residents are single men and women who enjoy the welcoming sense of community and the ease of connecting with neighbors. An active social calendar includes weekly “happy hour” events, Monday night movies, meals with open seating at special dinners and holiday parties.

4. What are the monthly dues?  The monthly dues for the Homeowners Association are $195/lot. This pays for upkeep of buildings, landscaping and equipment; fitness class; garbage removal; and management.

In addition, all residents over sixty pay $75.00 a month to the Arizona Senior Academy and those under 60 may also choose to become members.  Member benefits include: –A rich menu of free lectures and concerts on site weekly from expert presenters and highly skilled performers –Classes on a variety of topics including art, photography and Spanish–Use of the Academy building including an auditorium, library, seminar rooms, and a computer room with multiple workstations (both Mac and PC) –Use of a copier and fax machine –Preferred seating at public ASA events –Audio-visual equipment, including digital projector, for lectures and classes –Full-time staff responsible for bookings and program support.

5. Are there any meals available at Academy Village/Altura?   At the present time, special events dinners and potlucks are held in our Academy Café.  In addition, lunches are often available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The Café also provides the opportunity to cater special events, such as receptions, wine tasting dinners, and private parties. Plans are now being made to open the Café for breakfast and lunch, and one day over the weekend.

6. What services does the Village offer? A. The Academy Village Homeowner’s Association (AVHOA) maintains our common facilities and sponsors or facilitates a number of resident services, including: • A Community Center with meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining room, an arts and crafts room, art gallery, the “Arizona Room” for social gatherings • An on-site manager and receptionist, a maintenance man • A heated swimming pool and spa • A fully-equipped fitness center • A tennis court • An on-site wellness center staffed by an RN and a home health aide (fee-based) • A varied program of included fitness classes  • Maintenance of community landscaping and streets • Wireless Internet access throughout the community buildings • Weekly trash and recycling pickup. A new dog park has been added to this list.

7. What about medical care in the area? Tucson is fortunate to have a number of highly rated hospitals, including the teaching hospital associated with the University of Arizona.
The three that are closest to Academy Village are:
–Banner-University Medical Center
–Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital
–Tucson Medical Center
Our wonderful local rescue squad, Rincon Valley Fire Dept., is just around the corner from Academy Village. They respond to 911 calls from residents in approximately 5min. They also provide such helpful services as changing batteries in household smoke alarms and (a rare event) removing a rattlesnake from your yard!
There are also a number of close-by Urgent Care and Walk-in Clinics For example, one associated with a Walgreen Drug store is as close as 5 miles from Academy Village.
And Academy Village’s Wellness and Home Health Care programs can provide advice and help in 1) determining whether to go to a hospital; 2) selecting a primary care and specialty physicians; 3) case management both in the hospital and when you come home; 4) conducting blood draws, blood-pressure measurements and other services in the AV Wellness Center.

8. Where are the nearest grocery stores?  Academy Village is located in a pristine area that is not spoiled by commercialism. But it is not far to everything you need. In terms of groceries, we are 5 minutes away from a Farmers Market that is located on Old Spanish Trail and is open every Saturday morning. Locally-grown vegetables, eggs, coffee, and special foods such as home-made jams and jellies and Hatch green chilies are available. In addition, there is a wide assortment of booths selling jewelry, toys, plants, and other items that are great for the house or for gifts.
In terms of the grocery stores, there is a list of those used by most villagers:

Safeway: 4.5 miles. A new Safeway is being built in Vail, and will be completed by December, 2017. This will be the closest gracery store to the Village.

Safeway: Broadway and Houghton. 8.6 miles, ~ 16 minutes.A quite large typical grocery store with a Starbucks coffee corner in the building.
Fry’s:  9401 E. 22nd:   9 miles, 17 minutes.  This is a typical quite large grocery story that has recently discovered organics, gluten free, etc.
Sprouts: 7877 E. Broadway: 11 miles, 23 minutes.  This store is very conscious of nutrition, and has a great selection of produce and goods in bins.
Trader Joe’s: Speedway and Wilmot. 13 miles, 25 minutes.  Many of residents go to Trader Joe’s every chance they get: that is, if they are going into town for an appointment, they often end up at Trader Joe’s.
Walmart. In addition, there is a Walmart with groceries that is 8 miles away on Houghton, close to Old Spanish Trail.