Yarmouth Senior Housing gets $165K grant for renovations to Bartlett Circle community center

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YARMOUTH — Yarmouth Senior Housing was awarded a Community Development Block Grant to help renovate and expand the Bartlett Circle community center.

Margaret Downing, president of Bartlett Circle, said the grant was awarded to the town on behalf of the non-profit organization.

She said the organization will receive $165,000 to help complete Phase II of the Bartlett Circle renovation project, which started last year. The project is estimated to cost about $316,000.

Built in 1976, Bartlett Circle is a 28-unit complex of affordable, independent-living apartments for seniors. Phase II includes an update the 960-square-foot community center to address safety, accessibility and emergency preparedness problems. The center currently serves as storage for lawn equipment and fuel, a social center, laundry room and mail center.

Downing said renovations will include expanding the kitchen, moving the garage to a new shed, making restrooms wheelchair-accessible and adding a shower.

To make the center an emergency warming shelter, there will be backup electricity and the heat and stove will be propane-fueled. A 500-square-foot addition will provide space for social and wellness activities and will provide more space to be used as an emergency shelter.

Last year, during the Phase I renovations, improvements were made to apartment entryways, sidewalks and exterior lighting, and safety, accessibility and security concerns were addressed. The first-phase project cost of $315,000 was raised through donations.

Downing said the Yarmouth Rotary and the Lions Club will collaborate to build the new shed on June 5. 

In addition to the $165,000 grant, Downing said the town of Yarmouth is providing $20,000 for the project from the Housing Support Capital Reserve Fund.

“We are very optimistic about this phase of the renovations,” Downing said. “(Town Manager) Nat Tupper was a big supporter of the project. They were very enthusiastic.”

Yarmouth Senior Housing has also applied for an additional $150,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Downing said the rural development application is pending, and the organization can expect to hear in a few months.

“We have a small building window,” Downing said. “We don’t want construction going on in January and February because that is when the community center is most used by the residents. If we cannot finish the project by then, we won’t start it until next spring.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson @theforecaster.net