Berry President Stephen Briggs said that for Berry students, there is a great advantage to interaction with what he called "seasoned" adults.

"College students have great idealism but sometimes it needs to be tempered," Briggs said. "We also know that seasoned adults love to be with young, idealistic college students."

"Interesting the two times in life when a residential community really makes sense, in the college years and in retirement years," Briggs said.

A strong sense of community is part of what lured a number of the prospective residents to the development. Bonnie Wadsworth lived in Atlanta for 54 years before moving to Rome recently in advance of moving to The Spires.

"I just want to socialize and be safe and have a nice place to live," Wadsworth said. "I'm really excited about it."

Beverly Fox from Cumming said her husband was a student at Berry in the 40s.

"He wanted to come back here, so we're going to move here," Fox said.

LaRue Junkins from LaFayette said she did not have any ties to Berry at all but when she heard about it she felt like it would be a great place to live.

Rome Dr. Joel Todino and his wife Lynn said they have lived in the same home in the Rome area for 45 years.

"We have a 110-acre farm that is a lot of work, so we decided this was a great idea," Dr. Todino said. "The only big problem is we've been in the same place for 45 years and we've got a lot of stuff."

Native Roman Greg Gaston said he loves the natural beauty of the Berry campus.

"It looked like it was going to be well done, well developed and good people staying here, so I thought it would be a great place to live," said Gaston.

The development will feature 26 cottages and 144 apartment-style units progressing up the continuum of care.

"We have assembled an A team," said Briggs. Greenbrier Development has been Berry's lead consultant for the project, Brasfield & Gorrie will serve as the general contractor for the retirement community which was designed by THW Design out of Atlanta, which has a lengthy portfolio in senior living and health care related developments.

"It's been a long birthing process, we still have a little bit to go, but we're excited about what will be here in 18 months," Briggs said.

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