Construction begins on Freeport Community Services expansion

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FREEPORT — Construction at the historic Mallett House at 57 Depot St. is underway to turn the building into office, meeting and storage space for the Freeport Community Center.

The house was built approximately 120 years ago by Edwin Mallett as worker housing and is one of a few houses of its kind remaining in Freeport.

The house will be renovated to add about 3,500 square feet of space while retaining its historical significance. The building will also have a deep energy retrofit, saving about 60 percent in energy costs.

Bob Lyman, executive director of Freeport Community Services, said the expansion will include a hallway connector to the third Mallett House on Depot Street, creating more space for meeting rooms, offices and storage for the Thrift Store and Food Pantry. There will also be a loading dock for furniture donated to the Thrift Shop, he said.

In addition to the benefits of the additional space, Lyman said the building retrofit will insulate the exterior and roof of the structure while retaining the historical detail. The chimneys and trim work will remain the same, he said.

“We went through a long process to get here, and have worked with everyone involved in the project,” Lyman said. “We are excited about getting adequate space for the services we are trying to provide to the community and look forward to the competition of this project.”

About $513,000 has been raised for the project so far, Lyman said. Elliot Shanley of Power, N.J., donated six solar panels and will pay for $1,000 of the instillation, he said. Other contributors include Energy Circle and Building Science Corp., Keith Collins, Horizon Foundation, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and two Cumberland County Community Development Block Grants.

While the community has helped in the past, Lyman said the FCS board will look to other sources to fund the remaining $200,000.

“The community has supported us so much in the past and we are so grateful for that support,” Lyman said.

Construction is expected to continue through February  2012.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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One of the few remaining historic Mallett Houses in Freeport, at 57 Depot St., will be renovated, preserved and used as additional space for the Freeport Community Center. Al Corey of Al Corey Framing and Bob Lyman, executive director of Freeport Community Services, stand by the house that was built in the early 1890s.

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