Spires to provide work and mentorship opportunities

Cassie LaJeunesse, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

The Spires information center on Broad Street houses a 3D model of the plan for the retirement community that will be built. They hope to start construction in the summer.

Pre-sales are underway for The Spires at Berry College, the Continuous Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that will be built by Eagle Lake. The hope is to break ground by summer, according to Chief of Staff Gary Waters. 

The Spires will offer independent living units, options for assisted care and a memory care unit. Stand-alone cottages are available for independent living, as well as apartment buildings and lodges, which contain larger apartments. Now that they are in the reservation phase of the project, sales counselors are working to find future residents to put down deposits on the independent living unit. Currently 86 people have paid a deposit. 

“We need to reach a goal of 75 percent in reservations before we can go to financing, and that magic number for us is now 123 [reservations],” sales counselor Kimberly Garner said. 

The marketing team for The Spires hosts monthly luncheons to engage with potential residents and offer info on pricing and services that will be offered. Some of the planned amenities and services for The Spires include a wellness center with a salt-water pool, 40 miles of natural trails, a full-service spa with salon and barbershop, access to continuing medical care and access to events held at Berry. 

“What you’ll see is really interesting people who had very diverse careers attending cultural events, athletic events,” Waters said. “Virtually anybody who lives over at The Spires is going to have a very interesting life story. Our young people will gain a lot from getting to know them.”

Waters is excited about the project because he sees many potential benefits for Berry students. He estimates that The Spires will allow for somewhere between 50 and 100 student work positions related to multiple areas of study, as well as opportunities for mentorship. Students will be able to work in nursing, business, grounds and more.

Waters said he has heard a few student concerns about the project, but he does not believe that any students should be worried about The Spires. 

“There is no financial risk for the operating costs of The Spires to fall on students and their charges at Berry College,” Waters said. 

According to Waters, the project is a separate entity with a board of directors. Berry has three representatives out of the seven on the board. Waters said this project will only benefit Berry students.

“This is such a cool project in every way,” Waters said. “I can’t think of a single negative impact on the college.”

For more information about The Spires, visit the information center located at 113 Broad Street, call (706)-368-9955 or visit retireatberry.com.

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