June 13, 2021

COA Staff Prepares for Move to Francis Farm

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The staff of the Rehoboth Council on Aging are making plans to move into their new facility at Francis Farm following last September’s devastating fire at the old facility at 55 Bay State Road.

The 7200 square foot building was a total loss and the insurance proceeds will be used to purchase materials and equipment for the new COA.

Voters at last month’s town meeting approved the purchase of the 47 acre property at a cost of $2.8 million.

Selectman Jim Muri told COA Director Linda Sherman and members of the COA board on Wednesday that the town has “limited resources to make modifications” to the buildings at Francis Farm.

Muri noted there were code requirements and zoning requirements which need to be met. In addition, there has to be an evaluation and upgrade of the kitchen in the main building. Painting and “patch work” on the walls needs to be conducted, as well as the replacement of ceiling tiles.

Gerry Schwall, a former selectman who is now serving as a project manager, anticipates the town will finalize the sale of the property the week of June 21.

Schwall said the town’s senior population was “disproportionately affected” by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many into isolation for a prolonged period.

Sherman aims to provide seniors with breakfasts and other events including dancing and exercise classes.

Selectmen chairman Skip Vadnais instructed the COA board to state what their needs are and how much space they may require for certain activities.

“We want to open those doors as soon as possible,” Vadnais added.

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