This month The Spires at Berry College, a retirement community on the campus of Berry College, welcome first residents in Magnolia Place, a full-service Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation community.  

The continuing care retirement community began construction in October of 2018 and has opened 144 private apartment homes and 26 free-standing cottage homes. More than 70% of the community is pre-reserved at this time, and Magnolia Place residents and families have been planning for this move for the past two months.  

Magnolia Place will provide higher levels of care for residents needing help with activities of daily living and is open for people 55+ outside of the Spires community and current Spires residents who may need higher levels of care.  

While The Spires operates as a continuing care retirement community, people 55+ can enter into Magnolia Place under a month-to-month rental contract and monthly costs start at $3995. There is no financial qualification to be part of Magnolia Place, but residents are required to fill out a Medical Application and complete a Nursing Assessment to determine the best level of care.  

The community has been assembling the leadership team of Magnolia Place for the past several months, and has been working together along with leadership from Greenbrier Senior Living to develop a team training strategy to be able to provide personalized care plans and the highest levels of care for the residents of Magnolia Place. The leadership team brings more than 150 years of experience to the community.  


Laurie Steber, Executive Director moved to Rome in November to lead The Spires. Laurie has spent the last year assembling the executive team, including the leadership team at Magnolia Place. In June she welcomed the first residents in Independent Living and has enjoyed watching them create a community of more than just neighbors – new friends and family. 

Nick Lancaster, LNHAis the Healthcare Administrator for Magnolia Place. He has been a licensed nursing home administrator for six years. He received his bachelors from Huntingdon College in business administration, and has lived in Rome with his wife and son for the last seven years. His passion is in service by providing the highest quality of life and care to the residents of Magnolia Place.

Tracy Cochran, RN, is the Director of Nursing. She has been a nurse for 29 years and has spent her career as a labor and delivery nurse and in long-term care. She is married with two grown children and lives in Calhoun. With all Tracy’s experience in nursing, nothing has compared to the excitement of welcoming new residents to Magnolia Place at The Spires at Berry College.  

Vanessa Haygood will be our Director of Memory Care. Vanessa moved to Rome from Charlotte, NC. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner with more than 20 years of experience serving people with dementia. These people are truly her passion where she finds someone’s ability to create “Masterful Moments” of purpose, creativity, and success.  

Sandy Graham, LPN, is the Director of Assisted Living. Sandy has more than 25 years in long-term care and geriatric care. Her goal is to create a comfortable home environment with an enriched lifestyle program for the residents of Magnolia Place.  

Sheree Williams, Retirement Counselor, recently came to The Spires from Brookdale of Rome. Sheree has more than 27 years of health care experience including being a recreational therapist at Floyd Medical Center with a primary focus on geriatric psychiatry. Sheree has had a focus throughout her career on people with dementia, and she is passionate about their care. She has a passion for serving families who are navigating this difficult decision.  

“It is my mission to help seniors and their families to find a solution that is right for them all the while offering a vibrant, professional and compassionate community that seniors will love to call their home,” says Williams.   

The community has partnered with Floyd Medical Center and Dr. Amanda Reeves to be the in-house physician. In addition, Functional Pathways will provide Rehabilitation Services for residents on an in-patient and out-patient basis.  

Opening The Spires this year has been different with the challenges of COVID-19, but the team at Magnolia Place has developed safety protocols in order to bring new  

residents to the community while still adhering to Governor and state regulations for Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Communities.  

“As of today, Georgia remains under shelter-in-place for people 65+, so we are limiting guests and visitors to come to The Spires,” said Laurie Steber, Executive Director. All guests and team members must complete a health check to enter the community, and everyone is required to wear a face covering in all common area spaces and practice social distancing. Hand sanitation stations are readily available throughout the campus and our Housekeeping team has been sanitizing all common area spaces and high touch areas three times a day.  

“We are going to operate on an overly-cautious plan at this time,” said Steber. “We provide COVID-19 testing throughout the campus weekly to ensure everyone is staying healthy.”  

The Spires was planned by the Berry College Board of Trustees several years ago, and the Board of Directors is excited to see the community come to fruition. Dr. Steve Briggs, President of Berry College has been intimately involved with the community since its beginning, and he enjoys having his mother, Betty Briggs, living at The Spires community.  

Serving on the Lavender Mountain Senior Living Board of Directors since its creation in September of 2015 has been a joy and a privilege,” said Sue Anderson, Board President. “The leadership of Berry College had a dream to build a world-class continuing care retirement community on their campus, and they have done it. As with everything that Berry College does, it was planned and executed with great care and precision.”  

“There are many potential challenges when creating a community of this size,” said Brian Erb, Vice President of Finance for Berry College and Treasurer of Lavender Mountain Senior Living. “To be able to open this community on time and within budget despite all the obstacles of COVID-19 is a huge testament to the team involved in this project.”  

The Board of Directors engaged Greenbrier Development, a senior living development firm headquartered in Dallas, TX to lead the construction, development, marketing and finance of The Spires. Greenbrier Senior Living will oversee all operations. Brasfield & Gorrie was the general contractor for the project, and Ziegler Financial provided funding for the community

Part of the key to the success of The Spires is hiring the right team members to lead the community. Buster Wright, Board Member for Lavender Mountain Senior Living, was an important part of interviewing this team.  

“When looking for the right leaders for The Spires, we wanted to find people who had a great passion for senior adults as well as a great passion for students,” said Wright. “I’m delighted with the folks that have joined this team.” 

About The Spires at Berry College  

The Spires at Berry College is a visionary new Continuing Care Retirement Community that opened June 1, 2020 alongside pristine Eagle Lake at the foot of Lavender Mountain, nestled on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia – “America’s most beautiful college campus.” The Spires will offer the security of accessible healthcare services, including renowned medical centers in downtown Rome only minutes away, and spacious apartments and cottages equipped with lifestyle amenities. The Spires will provide lakeside senior living for the un-retiring retirees. The community is being built by Brasfield & Gorrie Construction Company and started construction in October of 2018. For more information or to apply for a position at The Spires, please visit or call (706) 368-9955.   

The Spires is a gated, private community that is currently closed to outside visitors to protect the health of our residents. Appointments can be made by calling (706) 368-9955 or emailing