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Willsboro Senior Community on schedule to open in March

Eli Schwartzberg, developer of Stonebrooks Properties, gives a tour of the  Champlain Valley Senior Center built in old Willsboro school.

Eli Schwartzberg, developer of Stonebrooks Properties, gives a tour of the Champlain Valley Senior Center built in old Willsboro school. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— 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.

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