KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — South High Senior Living is in the process of being purchased by the McNabb Center. If the purchase is finalized, the building will be turned into a rehab facility. Residents and employees of South High are concerned about their futures in the building.

Jon Timmerman has lived in the facility for nearly three years.

“This is our family now, we do a lot for the community, a lot of residents are voters in this district,” Timmerman said.

He said residents received a flyer informing them Dover Signature Properties, who owns South High, would be taking over management. However, he and other residents and employees said they first heard about the sale online.

“One of the ladies from New Hopewell Church called and said ‘I heard you’re being sold,’ and I said ‘yeah we just saw it on Facebook,'” he said.

Mike Cohen, with Cohen Communications Group, represents Dover Signature Properties and told WATE they are bringing in an experienced Senior Living Executive to work with each individual family and resident.

“We will offer to help negotiate the best possible solution for each individual on a case-by-case basis. For those who have to move because of the sale, we will pay their moving expenses as well,” he stated.

After residents learned about the sale, a community meeting was held involving Dover Signature Properties, residents, and employees. Tina Sanchez is a caregiver at the facility and said employees were devastated after hearing the news.

“They did say they had somebody in the back that would talk to us about getting another job, but we don’t want another job we want to work here, this is our family,” Sanchez said.

Stephanie Sbordone is a nurse at South High and said they received a flyer with information about working for the McNabb Center.

“The pay is insulting, not everybody qualifies to have a job there, and they have not reached out to other facilities to find us other places,” Sbordone said. “Mental health, drugs and alcohol are not my skill set so I wouldn’t want to work there anyway, but also it would be a $7 pay cut from what they’re proposing.”

“I love my seniors, it’s not about the money, I would take a pay cut just to keep my residents there.”

While the purchase is not final, Houston Smelcer, Vice President of Development and Government Relations at the McNabb Center, told WATE they have entered a purchase agreement with Dover Signature Properties.

The new rehab facility would provide services and beds for adults dealing with substance abuse issues, which Smelcer said Knoxville has a big need for.

Aside from how Timmerman feels about how the situation has been handled, he said he simply doesn’t want to leave his home.

“This would’ve probably been the last place I lived, there’s a lot of other people here, this is the last place they’re gonna live,” Timmerman said. “We have a 106-year-old lady, and we’re going to have to tell her she has to move. I mean it’s tough on people to uproot them from their house.”

The sale would cause the building to be rezoned, which has to be approved by Knox County Commission. If approved, it would then be heard at Knoxville City Council.