New construction begins at Scarborough retirement community

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SCARBOROUGH — Piper Shores, the luxury retirement community near Higgins Beach, is growing.

On Aug. 12, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held at the facility to mark the beginning of a yearlong construction project that will yield a new pool, fitness center, spa, salon and 180-seat multipurpose space.

Management at the nonprofit senior living complex hope the new additions will help attract the next generation of retirees: baby boomers. 

“It’s not just about enhancing the residents’ lives right now, which is extremely important, but we also need to be ready for the next group,” said Piper Shores’ marketing director, Andrea Killiard. “Fitness, the spa, large spaces for educational lectures or music performances are all really important to the next generation.”

The new multipurpose room will be built where the current pool and fitness center are located. To avoid inconveniencing current residents, Killiard said the new pool and fitness center will be completed before work starts to demolish the old ones. That way, residents won’t have to go without at all.

The new structures will be upgrades to what the facility already has: The new multi-purpose room will be able to accommodate about 100 more people than the current one. It will be two stories and face the ocean, with sweeping views of the Atlantic. The pool will be bigger and deeper and will have a ramp. The new exercise facility will hold more equipment on a fitness circuit and feature a separate classroom space.

The plan for the upgrade is six years in the making, Killiard said. In 2005, Piper Shores surveyed its residents to see what, if anything, they thought was missing. Respondents said they needed more space for exercise and events. So planning began on the new additions.

The project will be handled by Hebert Construction Corporation of Lewiston. Killiard said Hebert recently built a new operating room at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. She said the firm’s work on that job proved they could build without interfering with residents’ lives.

“They were able to build a brand new operating room adjacent to the old one, which was still being used. That’s pretty phenomenal in my opinion,” Killiard said. “The sensitivity to the needs of our residents needs to be acknowledged. Hebert really embodied the ability to have that sensitivity.”

The project is expected to be complete in about a year.

Piper Shores differs from traditional retirement communities in that it supports all level of care — from independent and assisted living to traditional nursing care — all for the same monthly price, which starts as low as $1,600 per month.

Residents pay a large entrance fee — starting at $133,000 when they move in. If they move out, 90 percent of the fee is returned to them. If they die as residents, the 90 percent reimbursement is passed on to their estate.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Mario on Twitter: @riocarmine.

Sidebar Elements

On Aug. 12, Piper Shores broke ground on an expansion that will provide new exercise and multipurpose facilities to its residents. Left to right: Dick Roderick, Piper Shores Board Chair; Mike Bierley, Piper Shores Executive Director; Tim Hebert of Hebert Construction; and architect Stan Gawron of Gawron Turgeon.