Brandishing a large pair of scissors, Owen and Shirley Plank huddled together and cut the large red ribbon held across the StoryPoint lobby on February 28.
Still holding the scissors, Owen then joked to an employee about providing free haircuts. Residents of the Waterville retirement community since Labor Day Weekend, the Planks moved from Athens, Ga., to be closer to their daughter, Angie McKenzie, and her family.
The Planks were among the dozens of residents in attendance for a celebration that featured live music, gourmet food and drinks.
While nearly two-thirds of the 96 apartments in the new Pray Boulevard facility are now either occupied or vouched for, many community members don’t realize that the independent living portion is open, said marketing director Irina Olgart.
“We always do a ribbon-cutting after our communities open and employees are settled in, to celebrate the new community,” Olgart said.
Diane Peyton, the first resident to move into StoryPoint, sat in a wheelchair as she recovered from foot surgery. Her friend Marilyn Cashen simultaneously held a glass of wine and pushed the wheelchair through the crowd. Both lingered in front of a wall featuring historical photos of Waterville police and fire personnel.
“Is Chuck in there somewhere?” asked Diane, whose late husband Chuck was not only mayor of Waterville, but also a member of the fire department.
Nearby was Jim Conrad, president of the Waterville Historical Society and son of long-serving Fire Chief Carl Conrad. He worked with both departments to locate historical photos to scan and frame for the wall in The Candlewick Bistro, a casual sports bar and dining area.
The 197,918-square-foot, three-story facility also features the Charming Café for breakfast and coffee and the Prime Thyme, where head chef Michael Goldstein and his staff really shine in providing delicious menu items.
In addition to dining, StoryPoint features a massage room, a beauty and barber shop, a media center, a business library, an activity room with a pool table, a community room and an exercise facility.
The one-story wing for 38 memory care and 38 enhanced living units is under construction, Olgart said. The opening depends on construction crews and permits.
“We would rather take our time and have it perfect, rather than rush to open,” she said.
StoryPoint Waterville is located at 1470 Pray Blvd. in Waterville. To schedule a visit, call Tina Keith at (419) 878-1000.