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Renovation of former school receives financing

"We've had immeasurable support for the project," Schwartzberg said. "I'm really proud of it."

The project has also been strongly supported by the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). "The impact that this project will have on Willsboro and the surrounding community will be enormous and we whole heartly endorse it, said Executive Director Mike Conway.

Schwartzberg's development company has already invested in major repairs to the building, fixing a leaky roof and a broken pipe that had caused significant water damage. He also spearheaded efforts to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which will allow him to claim tax credits for some of the renovation costs.

The Champlain Valley Senior Community, when finished, will include single- and double-occupancy rooms, a community dining hall serving three meals a day, and possibly a fitness center and indoor walking track.

The facility will target seniors of all income levels, said Schwartzberg, with affordable options for all.

"Eighty percent of the rooms are going to look over the Boquet River," Schwartzberg said. "The rooms will have 14-foot ceilings, and the original hard-wood, large windows. It's going to have so much character."

Schwartzberg expects the facility to open by the end of 2011. He anticipates about 30 full-time employees will be hired to staff it.

"It's going to create jobs," said Schwartzberg. "It's going to contribute to the Adirondack Econonomy, save a historic Adirondack structure, provide jobs for young families, help keep young people here and provide valuable services to seniors in the Adirondack Park."

In addition, he said, it will encourage those visiting their relatives at the senior home to also patronize restaurants and stores in Willsboro.

"Everyone I've talked to is very excited about it," said deputy town supervisor Nancy Huestis, noting several local residents have already expressed interest in utilizing the facility when it opens. "It's going to improve the appearance of downtown."

For more information about the Champlain Valley Senior Community, including early-bird registration, call 1-888-963-1110.

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