BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Diane Peyton was unpacking boxes and arranging the furniture in her 700-square-foot, second-floor apartment in StoryPoint Waterville Senior Living when executive director Linda Johnson stopped in to bring her flowers.
“It’s absolutely beautiful, and it’s brand new,” said Peyton, the first resident to move into the Pray Boulevard facility.
Two years after breaking ground, the three-story independent living portion of the 197,918-square-foot facility is open, said business development specialist Sandi Denniss. A one-story section with 38 memory care and 38 enhanced living units is expected to open later this year.
Visitors are stopping by to tour the apartments and common spaces – and sample chef Marshall Goldstein’s entrees.
“I had shrimp scampi. It was delicious. My daughter had chicken Parmesan and it was tender and moist,” Diane said. “I’ll be inviting all my friends to come over for dinner.”
After her husband, Chuck, who was a longtime mayor of Waterville, passed away in 2014, Diane continued to live in their home, where she had made friends with many neighbors. While now, at 72, she feels she might be a little young for an independent living facility, Diane said she didn’t want to move twice, and she wanted to be around people.
“I moved here for companionship,” said Diane, who was immediately signed up to serve on two committees.
As she was unpacking in the wee hours of the morning on August 29, she cracked open the door to allow some air in. Soon she heard a pleasant voice asking if she was OK.
“The staff is extraordinary. There was even someone here at 3:00 a.m. checking on me,” Diane said. “You can tell that the staff gets along – there’s a camaraderie. As a hairdresser, I worked with a bunch of women, so I pick up on that.”
The staff lives by the “1440” philosophy, Denniss said, noting that the goal is to make all 1,440 minutes of the day valuable for their residents.
A variety of activities, educational opportunities, field trips, great food and security are part of the StoryPoint atmosphere, Denniss said.
Just off the main entrance is a library with computers and bookshelves that residents are encouraged to fill with books to share. The space will be used for nondenominational services, Bible studies and classes led by the Waterville library staff. Upstairs, a community room is available for rent and will also be used for movies, clubs and other activities. Soon, the fitness center will be open with a variety of equipment.
StoryPoint Waterville is located at 1470 Pray Blvd. in Waterville. To schedule a visit, call Tina Keith at (419) 878-1000.