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Homeward Bound looks for new property in Saranac Lake

Glenwood proposal dropped amid controversy

Homeward Bound Adirondacks had hoped to use this house at 124 Glenwood Dr. for an office and small retreat center but recently dropped its plans for the project amid opposition from neighbors, who wanted to keep the current zoning for single-family dwellings.

Homeward Bound Adirondacks had hoped to use this house at 124 Glenwood Dr. for an office and small retreat center but recently dropped its plans for the project amid opposition from neighbors, who wanted to keep the current zoning for single-family dwellings. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Even if the Glenwood property worked out, Homeward Bound Adirondacks would have needed additional space to provide its planned services for veterans, Ross said in a phone interview on June 29. There was only enough room for a small retreat center and office space but not for the cornerstone of the HBA program — the Veterans Reintegration Academy, which would have classroom space and possibly recreational facilities attached to it.

Working with Clarkson University, North Country Community College and Paul Smith’s College, the year-long Reintegration Academy would educate up to 25 veterans in courses designed to help them make the transition between active military service and home life. Homeward Bound has defined it as “an effective bridge from military service to college” and a “prep school to improve veterans’ educational experiences.”

HBA would provide student housing, board and class space, and Clarkson University would provide classroom technology. The core curriculum would include courses in English, math, history, science, exercise physiology and electives in both classroom settings and field study. At the end of the program, veterans would have 45 transferrable college credits.

While it still needs a physical location, HBA has found a home in Saranac Lake, using its educational resources, arts community and heritage as a health resort to help build a “resiliency-informed community.”

“It presents an opportunity to tap into and draw upon the healing community tradition that goes back to the 1880s with tuberculosis and Dr. (Edward Livingston) Trudeau, Garry Trudeau’s great-grandfather, in which the whole community, not just the medical community, was involved in providing support,” Ross said on the phone. “I think the ambitiousness of the project and the desire to be centered in Saranac Lake and then provide resources which can be utilized throughout the region has been welcomed, but I think there is also a sense that people are waiting for it to begin to be more consistently visible, and we are working very hard to do that.”

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