Tag Archives: Strategic Partnerships

James Blount and Barry Griswell (71C)

WHAT A VIEW: Berry student James Blount welcomes Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) to the podium during the groundbreaking ceremony for The Spires at Berry College. Eagle Lake can be seen in the background, with Lavender Mountain in the distance.

Spires RenderingA soaring bald eagle provided the perfect backdrop as student James Blount offered opening remarks at the official groundbreaking for The Spires at Berry College, a continuing care retirement community to be located on approximately 50 acres of leased Berry property off the North Rome Connector.

Blount, an intern with the project, joined college and local officials in welcoming future residents – some of them Berry alumni – in attendance. He lauded the strength of the community they are already forming and compared their experiences to his own.

“Involvement characterizes the life of a Berry student,” Blount explained. “It is one of the cornerstones of having a beneficial and loving relationship with this school. And I can see in this community that there is already so much involvement.

“You are so special because you have bought in,” he added, addressing the future residents in the crowd. “You’re the first, and you realize just how truly magical this place is.”

When completed in 2020, that “place” will be a community of 170 cottage and apartment-style homes located on the shores of Eagle Lake, a former quarry. Deposits have now been paid on more than 70 percent of those residences, allowing construction to begin.

President Steve Briggs first shared the vision for the project – a long sought dream of Berry alumni – in this 2015 Berry magazine essay. For residents, benefits will include first-class amenities as well as proximity to the Berry campus and Rome’s thriving medical community. For Berry students, the facility represents opportunity in the form of intergenerational mentoring relationships and significant student work experience. Read more.

While located on Berry property, The Spires will operate as financially independent, self-sustaining nonprofit with its own board of directors. Visit retireatberry.com for project details.

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Spires Balcony

Above: The view of Lavender Mountain and Eagle Lake as envisioned from a balcony at The Spires. The new continuing care retirement community will be located on leased Berry property not far from the main campus.

Spires Lobby

Rendering of The Spires’ lobby.

The first shovel of dirt has yet to be turned for The Spires at Berry College, but excitement is rising among those who plan to make their home in the new continuing care retirement community to be built on the shores of Eagle Lake in view of Lavender Mountain.

To date, deposits have been made on 91 of the planned 174 residences, which will include free-standing cottages as well as apartment-style homes. A number of those making deposits are Berry alumni or have other connections to the institution.

The community will be located on leased Berry property and operate as a financially independent, self-sustaining nonprofit. It will offer a full slate of housekeeping, maintenance and leisure services, as well as a comprehensive on-site wellness center, all in close proximity to the Berry campus and Rome’s medical centers. It also will provide significant work and learning opportunities for Berry students, with as many as 50 to 100 work positions expected to be created. Construction will begin once deposits have been made on 70 percent of all residences. Completion is expected in 2020.

Visit retireatberry.com for project plans and videos featuring some of the people who will call The Spires home. Click here to read President Steve Briggs’ 2015 Berry magazine essay detailing the vision for this and other strategic partnerships.

 

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Rome Tennis Center at Berry CollegeThe Rome Tennis Center at Berry College has been open just three months, but already the country’s largest single-surface tennis facility has attracted its first major collegiate tournament. It was announced in early October that the Atlantic Coast Conference will hold its 2017 men’s and women’s championships at the 60-court facility, prompting the local media to hail the foresight of those responsible for the project, a public-private partnership located on Berry-donated land adjacent to Mount Berry Mall. More coverage.

Image courtesy of Greater Rome CVB

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A dream several years in the making became a reality this summer with the grand opening of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Currently the largest single-surface tennis center in the United States, the 60-court facility is located on Berry-donated property just north of Mount Berry Mall.

“Less than a handful of communities in the entire country come close to matching what you have here,” United States Tennis Association Executive Director Gordon Smith praised at the July opening. “You should all give yourselves a round of applause.”

The center is already proving to be a draw for players from throughout the Southeast, hosting four major tournaments and more than 1,600 participants in its first few weeks alone. Two other major events are scheduled this fall, with many more to follow in 2017 and beyond.

The new center was funded by a voter-approved special purpose sales tax as part of a public-private partnership expected to provide a major boost to the local economy while also opening the door to new work and learning opportunities for Berry students. The community partnership has allowed the Work Experience Program’s community and industry initiative to expand into the tennis world. The center also provides opportunities for students to pursue certification in Professional Tennis Management. Berry is one of a handful of colleges and universities nationwide to offer such a certification program.

“We want to create great experiences for our students,” said President Steve Briggs. “We want them to be ready for life and to understand what it means to put on great events and to serve other people’s needs. Students are attracted to Berry because they have the opportunity to participate in something like this.”

Additional coverage: Grand opening photo gallery, Good Day Atlanta

Public Relations Student Assistant Alexi Bell contributed to this story.

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Marcus Autism Center Interns

Merrill Wood, right, and Matthew Klein gained valuable experience as summer interns at the Marcus Autism Center.

Merrill Wood has long known that she wanted to work with those who needed help most, so when an opportunity presented itself to intern at the nationally recognized Marcus Autism Center, she jumped at the chance.

Working in the severe behavioral unit of the renowned Atlanta facility, the senior psychology major gained valuable experience conducting therapy sessions, gathering data and working one-on-one with children facing a wide range of issues that might prevent them from accessing public school and other normal social experiences. Such issues might have been intimidating to some, but Wood wasn’t fazed.

“When we were having a therapy session and the kids were smiling and we were smiling, we knew we communicated with them,” she said. “That was one of the best moments.”

Wood is one of a growing number of students taking advantage of Berry’s budding collaboration with the Marcus Autism Center, which is bearing fruit not only in meaningful internship experiences but also enhanced career opportunities.

Recently, a new four-course sequence jointly developed by Berry psychology faculty and the Marcus staff gained approval by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. As a result, students who complete the new course sequence and a set number of clinical hours can pursue board certification as assistant behavior analysts (BCaBA) upon graduation.

“This opportunity opened up because there’s a need,” explained Dr. Michelle Haney, professor and department chair of psychology, who recruited Dr. Allison Doerr to Berry to help develop the new program. “There’s a serious lack of clinicians with this training in our community.”

A related track within Berry’s Master of Education program is also being discussed.

Reporting by student writer Carey Blankenship

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Lake Adjacent to CCRC SiteRetire at Berry Web BannerFor decades, alumni have shared with college officials their desire to see a retirement community developed on or near the Berry campus. That dream is now one step closer to reality following the recent announcement that a site has been selected for a planned Continuing Care Retirement Community to open in 2019.

The facility, discussed by President Steve Briggs in the summer issue of Berry magazine, will be built on undeveloped college land overlooking a pristine 88-acre lake that up until 15 years ago served as a limestone quarry. The site offers commanding views of Lavender Mountain and is in close proximity to Berry’s main campus and Rome’s highly regarded medical centers.

The community will feature 150 apartment homes and cottages and offer a full complement of healthcare and supportive services and amenities. It also will provide work and learning opportunities for a significant number of Berry students serving in a variety of roles.

“The relationship between the college and CCRC is wonderfully complementary, as it will allow different generations to enjoy and serve one another,” said President Briggs. “And both the retirement community and Berry will be richer for it.”

Hundreds have shown interest in the project by requesting information through the Retire at Berry website. Many have attended meetings for alumni and friends wishing to participate in the project’s priority placement program. Visit www.retireatberry.com to secure placement on the list (a minimal refundable deposit is required).

Other developments this fall include selection of major design and contracting firms and the naming of an independent seven-member board of directors for the facility, which will operate as a financially self-sustaining nonprofit. It is expected that both the community and the lake will be named early next year.

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Olivia Paige Instructs Students

Berry student Corley Peth working with children at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Teachers, parents and children are praising the efforts of Berry students working in the South Rome Early Learning Center, a strategic partnership between Berry, Rome City Schools and the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation. Housed in the new Anna K. Davie Elementary School, the center welcomed its first class of 20 three-year-olds in July, the same month it was fully licensed by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. The center is meant to improve educational opportunities for the children while also providing valuable experience for Berry students. The current staff includes two graduate students in Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences, one representative of the Bonner Scholars Program and four student workers serving alongside the center director, lead teacher, assistant teacher and office manager/community liaison.

“I like it because it is not just a daycare,” parent Tiara Barrett told the Rome News-Tribune. “They are really learning things and every day [my daughter] comes to me and tells me what they do.”

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