FRANCONIA — The Cottages at Pondview in Peter Becker Community will have porches on a courtyard where people walking by can stop to chat with their neighbors.

"It's designed for interaction," Peter Becker CEO and President Suzanne Owens said.

Some of the people who will live there have already had a chance to meet and get to know each other, she said. 

"It's really designed so people can live in close community," she said. 

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the 30 new cottages was held April 28. 

"This really is an exciting time at Peter Becker as we begin our 50th year of service to the community," Vice President of Marketing & Sales Barbara Keller, said. "We're so excited about our continued growth not only of our campus, but also of our mission. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to providing yet another foundation for fellowship, connectedness and life together." 

The 30 new cottages are in addition to the 295 independent living residential units Peter Becker currently has, board President John Frankenfield said. There are also 50 personal care units and 45 to 50 nursing care, he said. 

"We look forward to welcoming 30 new families into our community as the project develops," Frankenfield said. "The build-out will be over the next couple years."

The $19 million project is part of a 2016 strategic plan, he said.

"While we enjoy open spaces, we're eager to see this field utilized to continue our campus growth with new residential living units here at Peter Becker," Frankenfield said. 

Spring represents a renewal of life, Owens said. 

"Isn't it that much more meaningful this year as we have been so challenged for over a year with everything," she said.

"Typically, we don't have opportunity for people to move into Peter Becker. They have to wait a long time because of how full we are," Owens said.

The additional homes are an "opportunity to move forward and be able to welcome lots of new people," she said.

Half of the new cottages have already been sold, she said. 

Construction of roadways for the Cottages at Pondview is expected to start in June, she said. 

Ruth Swingle, president of the Resident Association Executive Committee, outlined the organization's role and welcomed those who will be moving into the cottages.

"I know you are looking forward to moving into this great community and I am looking forward to welcoming and meeting you," she said. 

Director of Pastoral Care Merlin Hedrick prayed a blessing for the new homes.

"May they come to hold life's most treasured moments as love and joy is shared within their walls," he prayed.  

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