With a snip of a giant pair of scissors, Lanier Village Estates officials said goodbye to construction and hello to a completed community.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lanier Village executives invited the community to be a part of a ribbon-cutting for the new McGill-Scarbrough Memorial Chapel - which was paid for with donated funds.
The ceremony also included an open house showcasing the expansion of the WillowBrooke Court and OakBridge Terrace wings of the retirement village.
"This (event) represents the fulfillment of the original design plan for this community," said Marvin Mashner, president and CEO of ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, which developed Lanier Village.
"Needs change, and as they do, we'll be here to meet those changing needs. But the original plan has now been fulfilled."
Gainesville Mayor Ruth Bruner - who was the first social worker for WillowBrooke Court when it opened in 2003 - also participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"You all have enriched this community in so many ways," Bruner said to the residents in attendance.
"From serving on so many (community) boards to volunteering in the community - Gainesville and Hall County are much better places because you are here."
Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce President Kit Dunlap also expressed appreciation to the retirement community for not only drawing new residents to the area, but for also employing so many.
With nearly 500 residents, the community also supports around 150 employees.
Lanier Village opened in 2001 as a retirement community on a sprawling, 87-acre property off Thompson Bridge Road. The community features independent, assisted-living and skilled-nursing living arrangements.
"Our residents who need extra care will live in environments that allow for more privacy, cared for by a staff who know them well, and where they will enjoy most of the comforts and routines of home," said Alice Eckhardt, Lanier Village executive director.
The community's dedication to providing quality, living arrangements received accolades from state officials.
"Lanier (Village) is one of the key providers of (retirement) housing and services in the state," said Walter Coffey, Aging Services of Georgia president and CEO.
"I'm so proud to say that we have (a community like this) in Georgia."