PORTSMOUTH – A nearly $10 million renovation project is taking place at Riverview Retirement Center in downtown Portsmouth.
Renovation work is ongoing and is anticipated to bring a new look to the inside of the facility.
Lance Cranmer, spokesman for National Church Residences, owners of Riverview Retirement Center said the majority of the work is being done on the inside of the center and very little work will be done on the exterior.
“Everything is underway and some of the residents during the construction are being temporally relocated to Bristol Village in Waverly,” Cranmer said.
He said roughly half of Riverview Retirement Centers residents have been relocated.
When asked about the scope of work for the renovation project Cranmer said, “It’s going to be a full renovation to all of the rooms and common areas. There will be full mechanical system upgrades, which includes heating and cooling systems. All of the handicap accessible units will have new upgrades.”
There are 106 unites inside the facility.
He said all of the units at Riverview will receive new appliances, new cabinets, new flooring, windows and fixtures for plumbing and lighting.
Riverview Retirement Center consists of two renovated historic hotels, Biggs House and Washington House. Biggs House was originally constructed in 1836 and rehabbed in 1978/79 with Housing and Urban Development 202 Program funding. Washington House was originally constructed in 1900 and rehabbed in 1978/79.
He said the total cost for the construction contract is $9.3 million. Ruscilli Construction received the contract to do the work and Berardi is the architect on the project.
Cranmer said, once work in complete it will seem like a new facility on the interior.
“We’re not doing very much work on the exterior because they are historic buildings, we’re going to keep the integrity of the buildings so it does not change at all,” Cranmer said. “Internally it’s going to look like a brand new place. I think everyone’s going to be pleasantly surprised, how beautiful it’s going to be.”
Before the end of 2015, National Church Residences sold the buildings on the Riverview Retirement Center campus occupied by United Scioto Senior Activities Inc., to the organization for $2.
“The building that houses the senior center, we sold to them for $2. We recognized they have been there for a very longtime and have put a lot of resources into the facility, so we agreed it was best for them to own the space they’ve been operating out of,” Cranmer said.
For more information about National Church Residences visit, www.nationalchurchresidences.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT