Eli Schwartzberg, developer of Stonebrooks Properties, gives a tour of the Champlain Valley Senior Center built in old Willsboro school.
The former Willsboro Central School — now the home of the Champlain Valley Senior Community — will welcome a former student as one of the building’s first residents.
Norma Carter, 83 of Long Island, was in one of the first graduating classes at the school, and she said she wants to come back to where she grew up.
“I want to be near my family, and it’s nice there will be a place I can go,” Carter said.
The Champlain Valley Senior Community is on schedule to open in March 2013.
While the transformation from school to senior home is ongoing, Eli Schwartzberg, developer of Stonebrook Company, said the construction of the walls and plumbing have all been finished.
“Right now, to you and me, it might look like it is still very much a construction site,” Schwartzberg said. “But we have done all of the harder work, and the building will soon be ready for the final cosmetic touches.”
The first floor apartments have already been rented. The second and third floors will be finished soon after the building opens to first-floor residents.
The Community has been created through the reconstruction of the former Willsboro Central School, at 10 Gilliland Lane. Schwartzberg said it has been his goal from the time he purchased the building through renovation to maintain the character of the building while creating a warm and inviting environment for residents.
“When people come in here, I want them to feel like it is a school,” Schwartzberg said. “But with more home features.”
While the gymnasium has been converted into the dining room and meeting area, four sitting areas, two on each floor, have been created by extending the second floor walkway and adding rugs and fireplaces to give residents a place to relax.
“It adds a different dimension. This is the kind of a feel you would want in your living room with a fireplace, creates a cozy atmosphere,” Schwartzberg said.
Several murals have been protected during the construction, including a wall with all of the names of Willsboro students from the graduating classes from 2001 through 2013.
Wing to remember
The Memory wing built in the school’s 1957 addition will offer people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients a place to live. The wing will have a high ratio of staff-to-patient care. It will have its own kitchen, dining room and outdoor sitting area.
“The whole idea is we don’t want people to get outside in the middle of winter and freeze,” Schwartzberg said. “Our memory wing will be able to safely and comfortably house residents that have special needs.”
The 1927 school will be fully equipped to be a state-of-the-art living facility for seniors. It will include grab bars in all hallways and non-slip surfaces throughout the building, emergency pull cords in every bathroom and bedroom, no-slip showers with handrails on all sides of shower, smoke stop doors in all hallways, a 24-hour emergency generator and a new elevator.
There will also be a registered nurse on call 24 hours a day in case any residents are in need of help. There will be a doctor’s office on site, medication management services, full housekeeping, laundry and dining services for residents.
For more information, call for (888) 963-1110 or visit online at www.easylivingadk.com.