A Note from Franklin’s Mayor

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the ribbon-cutting for the first phase of the new Peabody Place, a beautiful environment for our special senior residents. This new facility will provide the state-of-the-art living with the best amenities taking care of our seniors by looking at the whole person, not just the medical issues, and in a way that respects the individual needs of all residents.

Franklin is now undergoing a significant revitalization, most notably the redevelopment of our river into a first-in-the-region white water park designed and implemented by the non-profit Mill City Park. Already we have seen financial growth and investment in our city as more become aware of our many opportunities to enjoy small city life.

But it is not just about the whitewater park. In addition to Peabody Place for our special seniors, we have provided housing options for our entire Franklin community. We completed over 40 apartments through the Concord Area Trust for Community Housing (CATCH) which provides workforce housing in the redeveloped Franklin Light and Power Mill building. In addition, our vacant Steven’s Textile Mill is also being renovated as a “mixed-use” building of business, and over 150 market-rate apartments are projected to be completed by the end of 2023. And not to be forgotten is the redevelopment of our International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) building into nine high-end condominiums overlooking our evolving downtown sector.

This represents an investment of over $70M in our small city.

As we continue to redevelop, three restaurants will be opening this spring in Franklin, providing exciting dining options for all of our citizens. And as we continue to develop Peabody Place, we have been mindful of not just a safe place for residents but a true home for them.

Many years ago, when my grandmother was a resident at the Peabody Home, I spent an afternoon with her, playing familiar songs on the piano in the lovely living room. And the sense of home for myself and my grandmother was very present. This is so important to our residents and one that the new Peabody Place has clearly embraced, maintained and continues to develop. As its philosophy of care shifts away from a nursing home and more to a supportive role that recognizes our seniors as real people who have contributed so much to our community, Peabody Place has set the standard for future senior care of our most valued senior citizens and celebrates lives well lived.

Franklin's Mayor Jo Brown

Jo Brown, Mayor
City of Franklin

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.

Renovations harken in new long-term care model at Peabody Place

The Concord Monitor’s recent article on our expansion and upcoming spring opening details how Peabody is empowering individuals living in a long-term care setting.

Peabody Place, a freshly renovated assisted living facility in Franklin, could easily be mistaken for a luxury hotel.

The three-story building features a granite and brick façade, large manor windows and a view of the Winnipesauke River. But Howie Chandler, the facility’s executive director, is more excited by what the new building represents: a new long-term care model.

He said as residents move from the original, 80-year-old facility to the new building in April, Peabody Place’s care staff will shift away from doting on healthcare needs and focus on providing a meaningful, even fun, lifestyle.

“People don’t usually think of long-term care and fun but that’s really our goal,” he said.

Residents will enjoy private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, which Chandler said are essential for maintaining dignity.

The facility has also made small changes to floor plans to give residents as much control as possible over their lives. Even though all meals are cooked and served by the facility, each room is outfitted with a refrigerator, so residents have control over when and what they eat.

“It doesn’t sound like much but control is so, so important,” he said.

Residents will also have the opportunity to help out around the facility, whether it be cooking, cleaning or organizing events. Even though it’s often easier for staff to quickly complete these tasks on their own, he said the opportunity to help gives meaning to a resident’s daily schedule, one of the most important indicators of longevity, he said.

Construction of the new 63,632 square foot facility is funded by the U.S Department of Agricultural’s Rural Development Fund. Once completed, Peabody Place will more than double capacity and will include 45 assisted living apartments, 13 memory care apartments and 16 independent living apartments.

Amenities include common space for gathering on all floors, a 24-hour emergency response system, memory care services, personal transportation services, a beauty and barbershop, an exercise and wellness room and easy access to downtown Franklin.

Read the full article, “Renovations harken in new long term care model at Peabody Place,” in the Concord Monitor

By TEDDY ROSENBLUTH
Monitor staff

Peabody Place Readies for Opening

Brand-new state-of-the-art senior living community to open in early Spring

As finishing touches including window treatments, furnishings and décor are put in place, the long-awaited brand-new Peabody Place will open this spring and welcome individuals who are in need of assisted living. Construction on phase one of the $26 million residential senior living community is scheduled to be completed in early March. Current members living in the original 80-year-old Peabody Place (formerly known as Peabody Home) will begin moving in later in the month while new members will be welcomed in April.

“We are very excited to welcome current and future Peabody Place members to this new residential community that has been designed and built for their comfort and lifestyle,” said Howard Chandler, executive director of Peabody Place. “Assisted living is a wonderful option for those who might find living at home alone to be a bit of a challenge. As a nonprofit, community-based organization, we have no entrance fees and focus on offering affordable and attractive option for care and quality of life. Our doors will soon be wide open for individuals and their families to begin a new, exciting chapter of their lives at Peabody Place.”

Peabody Place is pet-welcoming and features well-appointed apartments with private bathrooms, oversized windows and unique views of the Winnipesaukee River. Amenities include common space for gathering on all floors, a 24-hour emergency response system, memory care services and 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.

Construction of the new 63,632 square foot facility is being done in two phases. Once completed, Peabody Place will more than double capacity and will include 45 assisted living apartments, 13 memory care apartments and 16 independent living apartments.

“We’re ready to roll out the welcome mat at Peabody Place,” said John Benham, who serves on the Peabody Place Board of Directors and chairs the Building Committee. “So much thought and attention to detail have been put into this effort and we’re thrilled to begin welcoming individuals to a place they will be proud to call home.”

The first phase will be the future home for individuals interested in an assisted living environment. After phase one is completed, the original building will then be torn down and phase two 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.

Current members who live in the original 1942 Peabody Place (formerly called Peabody Home) will move into their new apartments first. Then new members will be able to move in after. Those interested in learning more and exploring living opportunities are encouraged to contact Peabody Place quickly given the demand for these services. For more information, contact Marylee Gorham at 603-934-3718 or [email protected].

Peabody Place partners with newly formed Auxiliary Group

Peabody Place, located in Franklin, has formed the Peabody Place Auxiliary group through a partnership with the Auxiliary Group. Comprised of a well-connected professional women, the Auxiliary will promote and support the mission of the senior living community in the Lakes Region.

“The Peabody Place Auxiliary will quickly prove itself to be important not just to our members – but to the greater Franklin community,” said Howard Chandler, executive director of Peabody Place.

Auxiliary co-chair, Christine Dzujna, has successfully grown the group from humble beginnings in 2009 starting with a dozen people from her church, the Bessie Rowell School, Business & Professional Women’s Franklin chapter, and her own neighborhood. The group separated from Franklin Regional Hospital when LRGHealthcare merged with Concord Hospital. The Auxiliary historically has a strong track record of fundraising and has supported many programs in its prior iteration including The Lights of Memory, Senior Safety Day, Tanger Outlet’s Annual Fit for a Cure 5K, in addition to hosting the “Mom Prom” and running a wildly successful gift shop which also hosted the Christmas in July sale.

“Our Auxiliary has worked hard over the years [to support the hospital and enjoyed every minute],” said Dzunja. “I personally look forward to being a part of the Peabody Place Auxiliary. They say, when one door closes another opens. We’re thrilled to lend our skills, enthusiasm and goodwill to Peabody Place and look forward to many wonderful projects!”

Peabody Place represents the transition of the older Peabody Home; a beloved post war mansion on Central Street where seniors from the area could live well contemplating their later years with grace and dignity.  This former mill town is currently undergoing revitalization and major capital investment with the refurbishments of manufacturing buildings, a steady downtown infusion of new businesses, upgraded facades, real estate renovations retain the light industrial vibe of interior brick, high tin ceilings and exposed duct work.  East on Central the new whitewater park enjoys construction, while west on Central, the new Peabody will be open in late February.  Meanwhile, the newly formed charitable arm of Peabody Place will continue what has always been a deeply embedded community resource.

Peabody Home is Becoming Peabody Place as Construction Moves Forward

Priority list created so individuals can reserve space in the new Peabody Place now

It’s clear to all who visit downtown Franklin that there is a major project in the works at Peabody Home. The original home, the ‘mansion on Central Street,’ was constructed in 1941 and opened in October of the following year. Over time, upgrades and additions kept pace with changing eldercare standards, the last being in 2001.

The 80-year-old building that has been a beloved residence for many community members is being transformed into a larger, modern retirement community that will include assisted living, independent living and memory care. Such a transformation warrants re-naming to reflect the expanded services and amenities soon to be available. “Peabody Place” will epitomize a renewed culture that will offer more options for seniors in an inviting setting that promotes support of the mind, body and spirit, ultimately increasing quality of life.

“Our home for residential care for more than 80 years is becoming the place for expanded residential care and independent living in a new, state-of-the-art retirement community. With construction underway and the fact that we are taking reservations for those interested in becoming residents in our new retirement community, we wanted to unveil the name and logo now to help us showcase the vision for Peabody Place,” said Executive Director Howard Chandler.

Conceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NHConceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NH Conceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NH

Conceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NHConceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NH

Construction of the new 63,632 square foot Peabody Place is being done in two primary phases. Phase one of the project – building a brand-new assisted living and memory care center – is well underway and is scheduled to be completed in late 2021. Once open, current residents will move into the newly built Peabody Place, A priority waitlist has been created for individuals who want to reserve a space now.

After phase one is completed and residents move into the new space, the original building will be demolished and new independent living apartments will be built on that location. Both phases will be integrated into a single three-story building that features a granite and brick façade, large manor windows and will include a 24-hour emergency response system, personal transportation services, a beauty and barbershop, an exercise and wellness room – all within easy access to downtown Franklin. Phase two is expected to be completed in late 2022 and will also host well-appointed common areas including a bistro, media room and library.

Once completed, Peabody Place 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 Winnipesaukee River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.

“We’re very excited about the future of Peabody Place and are developing some unique plans for the facility including using more locally sourced food in our dining areas, emphasizing that we are not just pet-friendly, but pet-welcoming, but pet-welcoming and determining how best to use the adjacent Proctor Point property for the enjoyment of our residents and their families. We’ll be launching a new website shortly that will help showcase this vision,” Chandler said.

Funding totaling $26 million for the project was approved through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in November 2020 and construction began a month later. 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 Northern Community Investment Corporation. For more information, contact Admissions Director Marylee Gorham at 603-934-3718 or [email protected]

Peabody Executive Director Meg Miller to Retire

Howard Chandler selected to serve as executive director of Peabody Home effective February 22

Meg Miller has announced that she plans to retire from her role as executive director of the Peabody Home in February 2021. Her successor will be Howard Chandler, who has been approved by the Board of Directors and will begin his position on February 22. Miller has worked at the Peabody Home for 22 years as the administrator and has been an integral part of the new phase of growth and expansion of the more than 80-year-old nursing home by securing a substantial loan to more than double the capacity of the facility.

Miller is moving into retirement to spend more quality time with her family and loved ones. She will be available to help with the transition to the new executive director, who is a former colleague and is highly respected in New Hampshire’s nursing home community.

“I am so grateful for the work our staff has done to help maintain the excellent care and level of service that the Peabody Home has been known for since its inception in the early 1940s and to our fantastic and dedicated Board of Directors for their guidance and support. This is an amazing and caring team that I know will help shepherd the Peabody Home into this exciting new phase of expansion,” Miller said. “I am delighted that the board has selected Howard Chandler as the incoming executive director and it’s a good time for this leadership transition. Knowing him well, I am confident that Howard will be a great leader for Peabody.”

Howard Chandler has served as the administrator of the Mountain View Community in Ossipee, New Hampshire since 2012. Chandler, of Laconia, started on a temporary interim basis and became the permanent director of November 1 of that year. Prior to serving as administrator to Mountain View Community, Chandler held leadership positions at Taylor Community in Laconia and Meredith Bay Colony Club in Meredith and helped guide these facilities through a similar growth pathway that the Peabody Home is embarking on.

“We are eternally grateful for the dedication and compassion that Meg has brought to the Peabody Home day in and day out for many years. She has been an inspiring leader and I wish her and her family the very best in this next chapter for them. We are very excited that Howard Chandler will be joining us as the next executive director. He is one of the most talented and respected individuals in the industry, has great leadership skills and an impeccable reputation, and we are very fortunate to have him,” said John Benham, a long-time board member and Chair of the Building Committee, who was highly involved in the search.

Peabody Home put shovels in the ground at a recent virtual groundbreaking ceremony to formally kick off the construction process that will result in this significant expansion of facilities and services. 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. 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.

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.

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 Winnipesaukee River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.

For more information, contact Admission and Marketing Director Marylee Gorham at 603-934-3718 or [email protected]