FRANKLIN — The federal Agriculture Department is providing $26 million in loans to allow the Peabody Home to build a modern senior-living facility.
The loans, announced Friday, come from the USDA’s Rural Development Program and will be used in conjunction with a $292,899 contribution from the Peabody Home.
“Investing in the Peabody Home will allow New Hampshire seniors to retire in the place they have lived and loved all of their lives,” said Anthony Linardos, the program’s state director.
“Part of our mission is to ensure a better quality of life for rural New Hampshire residents, and that includes our seniors.”
The Peabody Home has operated as a nursing home since the 1940s.
Parts of Franklin are designated Opportunity Zones as defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. These zones comprise low-to-medium-income areas where the department wants to encourage economic development by incentivizing investment.
The Peabody Home project will create eight new jobs and maintain 27 established positions.
The new building will more than double existing space and accommodate independent living, assisted living and memory care.
There will be a 24-hour emergency response system, personal transportation services, a beauty and barber shop, an exercise-and-wellness room and close access to downtown Franklin.
Groundbreaking is planned for November on the 63,632-square-foot project. The first phase is expected to be completed in about 12 months and the second phase would be completed six months later.
“We are so excited to build on our nearly 80-year history of providing compassionate care for those in need and announce plans for our new state-of-the-art facility that allows us to deliver a more complete continuum of care across the communities we serve,” said Meg Miller, director of the Peabody Home.
“I am grateful to our staff, board and volunteers for bringing this dream closer to reality, to local officials including Dick Lewis and the City of Franklin and the state and federal officials that helped us gain all the necessary approvals for funding.”
The project will feature more common space and take advantage of views of the Winnipesaukee River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.
“While the current facility has been COVID-19 free in 2020 and safety continues to be the highest priority, the new facility is one of the first in New Hampshire that has been designed with the pandemic in mind. We were able to address improved airflow and disinfecting in the design phase and believe that our new facility will be one of the safest and highest quality resources in the region for three critical levels of senior care,” said John Benham, who also serves on the board and chairs the Building Committee.
The demand for more long-term care space in the region was confirmed through a market feasibility study that looked at demographics in communities within 30 miles of Franklin.
“We are filling a need for 24/7 quality senior care that will be in demand for the foreseeable future. We’ll build off our reputation of providing compassionate care in a safe and secure environment that is delivered by a skilled family of professional caregivers. People are attracted to this region for its natural resources, beauty and services and we are excited to make this investment in Franklin,” said Chris Seufert, chair of the Peabody Home Board of Trustees.