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Peabody Home to build new senior living facility

October 22, 2020
FRANKLIN — The Peabody Home in downtown Franklin is building on its long and rich history of serving seniors through a significant expansion of facilities and services. The "new Peabody" will include a brand-new facility that will triple its current space, expand services and double the occupancy for assisted living and memory care and add in high quality independent living options. Funding totaling $26 million was recently approved through the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development's Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program and a groundbreaking is planned for November.

Construction of the new 63,632 square foot facility will be done in two primary phases. The first phase will be the construction of the assisted living and memory care facility. Upon completion, residents and staff from the current facility, which dates back to 1942, will be moved to the new building. The original building will then be torn down and phase two will include constructing the new independent living facility on that location. Both phases will be integrated into a single three-story building that features a granite and brick façade and large manor windows and will include a 24-hour emergency response system, personal transportation services, a beauty and barber shop, an exercise and wellness room and easy access to downtown Franklin. Phase one is expected to be completed in about 12 months and phase two about six months after.

"We are so excited to build on our nearly 80-year history of providing compassionate care for those in need and announce plans for our new state-of-the-art facility that allows us to deliver a more complete continuum of care across the communities we serve," said Meg Miller, director of the Peabody Home. "I am grateful to our staff, board and volunteers for bringing this dream closer to reality, to local officials including Dick Lewis and the City of Franklin and the state and federal officials that helped us gain all the necessary approvals for funding."

Once completed, the "new Peabody home" will more than double capacity from the current 37 residents and will include 13 memory care apartments, 45 assisted living apartments and 16 independent living apartments. It will feature more common space and take advantage of its unique views of the Winnipesauke River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.

"While the current facility has been COVID-19 free in 2020 and safety continues to be the highest priority, the new facility is one of the first in New Hampshire that has been designed with the pandemic in mind. We were able to address improved airflow and disinfecting in the design phase and believe that our new facility will be one of the safest and highest quality resources in the region for three critical levels of senior care," said John Benham, who also serves on the board and chairs the Building Committee.

The demand for more long-term care space in the region was confirmed through a market feasibility study conducted by MDS Research Company, Inc. They studied the demographics in communities within about 30 miles of Franklin and found sufficient demand today and into the future for the expansion. Expanding the current facility, which has been added to over its history, was not a viable option. By building the first phase of the new facility and moving residents and staff over upon completion, Peabody Home ensures that there will be a complete continuity of care for current residents.

"We are filling a need for 24/7 quality senior care that will be in demand for the foreseeable future. We'll build off our reputation of providing compassionate care in a safe and secure environment that is delivered by a skilled family of professional caregivers. People are attracted to this region for its natural resources, beauty and services and we are excited to make this investment in Franklin," said Chris Seufert, chair of the Peabody Home Board of Trustees.

Peabody Home, which is an independent nonprofit organization, will continue its unique benefits that help make it an affordable, high-quality option for senior living. While many facilities that offer independent living often require a significant down payment, Peabody plans on requiring a small, fully refundable deposit. The facility will also continue to offer its Yankee Plan, where residents pay for basic services and can then add in additional services a la carte, so they are not charged for services they don't use.

Schematics and additional information on rooms and amenities are under development and will be available by the end of the year. At that time, there will be an opportunity to reserve spaces ahead of time. The building was designed by EGA P.C. Engelberth Construction is building the facility and the engineering work is being conducted by Nobis Engineering. Advisory work is being provided by RS Consulting and North Country and the Northern Community Investment Corporation. For more information, contact Marylee Gorham at 934-3718 or mgorham@peabodyhome.org.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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