‘New lease on life’

Braley Dodson GateHouse Media Illinois
Workers install a new gazebo Aug. 25 on the grounds of Snyder Village in Metamora.

Snyder Village looks more like a suburb than an assisted living community. But then again, that’s the point.

“We deliberately created those little cul-de-sacs because we believe that sometimes folks become isolated in their current living environment as they grow older,” said Keith Swartzentruber, executive director of Snyder Village. “Perhaps their spouse passes away or friends are no longer in the neighborhood. As they come here, it’s a new lease on life.”

Aug. 30, Snyder Village celebrated its newest step, a $6.8 million expansion that added 24,000 square feet to its preexisting 21,000 square feet. After 15 months of construction, the expansion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting and open house Aug. 30.

The expansion, which has been discussed for the last five years, now gives residents the option between a studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment. For the first time, the community will offer assisted living memory care.

“What this expansion represents is a further expanding of that continuum of care,” Swartzentruber said. “It is that as an individual, I can come here with any set of circumstances and have my needs met.”

The village has now grown to 48 acres and about 350 residents. Most of the new apartments already have been claimed. Residents can begin moving in in the middle of September after a state inspection.

Even with his wife serving on the community’s board, Bob Harper of Metamora didn’t see the expansion until Aug. 30.

“I’m just flabbergasted,” Harper said. “This is just so incredible. I could sure see my parents here.”

Don and Jeanne Schaffer of Germantown Hills looked at Snyder Village as an option for their late mother, but at the time, it was full. Aug. 30, they were looking at the village from a personal perspective.

“We’re getting up there,” Don said. “I want to know what our options are.”

They were pleased at what they saw on their tour.

“I thought the apartments were lovely,” Jeanne said. “It really is a pretty place.”