New Peabody Place Formally Opens After Celebratory Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Current members from 80-year-old facility moved into new senior living community April 2
A celebratory crowd of employees, board members, employees, friends, dignitaries and contractors were on hand at the brand-new Peabody Place to gather, tell stories and raise a glass to the completion of phase one of an ambitious renovation project. The formal ceremony took place on Thursday, March 31 and less than two days later, all members of the 1940’s era former Peabody Home began moving as the inaugural first members of Peabody Place.
“The work here started 80 years ago when four ladies bought the property and had a vision,” said John Benham, a long-time board member and volunteer who chairs the building committee. “The board had a vision for the new Peabody Place, which we have been working towards for the past six to eight years, with the understanding that we had to continue what started 80 years ago. Now, we’re ready for another 80 years.”
Peabody Place is pet-welcoming and features well-appointed apartments with private bathrooms, oversized windows and unique views of the Winnipesauke River. Amenities include common space for gathering on all floors, a 24-hour emergency response system, memory care services, apartments in a dedicated section of the building, personal transportation services, a beauty and barber shop, an exercise and wellness room and easy access to downtown Franklin.
“This home may be new but it’s a continuation of the work of many generations,” said Chris Seufert, who chairs the Peabody Place Board of Directors. “We would not be here today without the great work of our contractors, engineers and architects or without the many city officials and others who had a vision. It does take a village and a village can make a dream become a reality. You all dreamed big, and it is exciting to welcome residents into the new living space.”
Over 50 special guests attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on the afternoon of March 31 and enjoyed the remarks, a champagne toast, first-peak tours of the finished space and a sampling of the high-quality cuisine that is available to Peabody Place members. The following Saturday, dozens of volunteers helped move the current members living in the old building a few hundred yards into their new homes.
Franklin Mayor Jo Brown recalled old memories of playing the grand piano with her grandmother in the old building and on how the new Peabody Place embraces a forward of senior care. “I want to thank Executive Director Howie Chandler for moving the focus away from a nursing-focused medical facility and towards a whole person inclusive community of people that are coming in. The Peabody team is at the forefront on this,” she said.
The first phase of the project is now completed and is dedicated to individuals interested in an assisted living environment. Upon completion of phase two, the 63,632 square foot Peabody Place will more than double its original capacity and will include 45 assisted living apartments, 13 memory care apartments and 16 independent living apartments.
Funding totaling $26 million was approved through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in November 2020.
“New Hampshire and Vermont have two of the highest median ages,” said Eric Law, rural development community program director for the N.H./Vt. region of the USDA. “Our communities need quality, affordable elderly care and Peabody Place is a prime example of that. On behalf of USDA Secretary Vilsack, I want to congratulate you all. From your USDA, a sincere congratulations.”
The building was designed and built by EGA P.C. Engelberth Construction and the engineering work is being conducted by Nobis Engineering, both of Concord, N.H. Advisory work is being provided by New Hampshire-based RS Consulting and North Country and the Northern Community Investment Corporation, in St. Johnsbury, Vt.
Engelberth CEO Pierre Leblanc was also on hand for the ribbon cutting. “We built this new building through the pandemic and I’m so proud of everyone here. Our team and the many subcontractors that worked with us faced challenges, labor shortages and more to get to this point. It was pretty incredible to see everyone persevere. Now we’re going to go to locker room and regroup and kick the next phase into gear,” he said.
The original building will be torn down in mid-April to make room for phase two. This will include constructing a new independent living facility on that location. Both phases are being integrated into a single three-story building that features a granite and brick façade and large manor windows. Phase two is expected to be completed in late 2022.
Photo courtesy of Peabody Place. Photo caption (left to right) Franklin Mayor Jo Brown, Peabody Place Chair of the Board of Directors Chris Seufert and Engelberth CEO Pierre LeBlanc at Peabody Place ribbon cutting ceremony on March 31, 2022.
Peabody Home Holds Virtual Groundbreaking for Comprehensive New Senior Living Facility
State-of-the-art facility to include assisted living, independent living and memory care
The team at the Peabody Home in downtown Franklin put shovels in the ground at a recent virtual groundbreaking ceremony to formally kick of the construction process that will result in a significant expansion of facilities and services. The ceremony, captured on video, includes remarks from staff, board members and the mayor, all highlighting the long history of the Peabody Home and the strong interest in creating a “new Peabody.” The larger, brand-new facility will provide more capacity for assisted living and memory care and add in new high quality independent living options for a full continuum of care.
“Peabody Home has given back to this community for almost 100 years. This Board of Directors felt that we needed something to push the Peabody Home forward into the next century. The best option the board found is to put in a brand-new facility that will serve this community for another 100 years,” said Chris Seufert, chair of the Peabody Home Board of Trustees, during the virtual groundbreaking.
Funding totaling $26 million was approved through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in November. On December 22, all loan paperwork was finalized, allowing construction to start.
“Three years ago, we (the board) thought about expanding and meeting the expectations of what we know is coming in this industry. We looked at our 80-year-old building and thought, ‘it’s time to think of something different.’ What we have come up with is a set of plans that will accommodate two times the census and three times the square footage,” said John Benham, who also serves on the board and chairs the Building Committee.
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. Phase one is expected to be completed in late 2021.
Franklin Mayor Tony Guinta participated in the virtual groundbreaking and read a proclamation. “The Peabody Home is now poised to begin an incredible expansion that will not only compliment Franklin’s downtown rebirth, but most importantly will provide a special place for more than 70 seniors to enjoy their golden years in a warm, safe and well-appointed environment,” he said.
After phase one is completed, 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 two is expected to be completed in late 2022.
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.
“The Peabody Home has been an integral and beloved part of Franklin’s downtown since the early 1940’s. Residents near and far have come to trust the facility for its high quality of care. The expanded capacity will be critical as the Peabody Home continues to serve the growing senior population of this great community,” US Senator Jeanne Shaheen said in a letter submitted as part of the ceremony.
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and U.S. Representative Annie Kuster provided video commentary for the ceremony. “This modernization and expansion of the Peabody Home will serve more seniors in our state, keeping them safe and healthy, and improving their lives,” Senator Hassan said in her video. “I’m just thrilled that the Peabody Home has received this significant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This direct loan represents an important investment in the City of Franklin, its residents and surrounding communities,” Representative Kuster added in her video.
Meg Miller, who has been at the Peabody Home for 22 years and currently serves as director, thanked her volunteer board for all of their work and support and Rural Development for providing the funding to make this project a reality. She encouraged those interested in learning more about the expansion to visit a new website that has information on the project.
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 the building can be found online. Space in the new facility can be reserved now. Anyone who moves into the Peabody Home prior to the opening of the expanded facility will have a space held for them in the “new Peabody.” 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 us.