Union Leader – May 2, 2017

Senior living community on schedule

Summit by Morrison: Project is only one of its kind north of the notches.

By JOHN KOZIOL – Union Leader Correspondent

WHITEFIELD – Construction is both on time and on budget for the $25.6 million Summit by Morrison, the only such senior living community north of the notches.

At the groundbreaking ceremony last September, the project — which will feature 33 independent living apartments, 14 independent- living cottages, 24 assisted-living apartments and 12 memory-care/Alzheimer’s units — was known simply as the Whitefield Senior Living Community.

But earlier this month, it got a more formal, albeit shorter, moniker: Summit by Morrison.

Located on Terrace Street in downtown Whitefield, the Morrison since 1903 has provided skilled nursing, rehabilitation, long-term care, respite care, Alzheimer’s adult day care and assisted living services.
More than three years ago, the Morrison leadership team did a community- needs assessment that confirmed the need for a supportive-living facility, where North Country residents can “age in place,” said David Haas, the chairman of the Morrison’s board of trustees.

The site for such a facility was found on a 25-acre parcel off Littleton Road, about a mile west of the Morrison. The facility is being funded in large part thanks to two low-interest loans totaling $24,973,788 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency.

The Summit is expected to be a boost to the North Country economy as some 75 companies, many of them local, are involved in the construction that began in December. Already Whitefield’s largest employer, the Summit will create as many as 35 new full-time jobs, said Mell Brooks, the Summit’s director of development, on Friday.

The Summit, which will provide the Town of Whitefield with a payment in lieu of taxes, will open in two steps, with the independent- living cottages expected to open in October, and the rest of the facility coming online sometime in March 2018.

With its combination of living and health care options, there is no place like the Summit anywhere in the North Country, said Brooks.

“The Morrison keeps families together and (the Summit) will also help keep families together,” Brooks said, either by allowing families to keep a loved one close to home, or by permitting their return to the North Country.

So far, and despite the lack of any marketing, there have been expressions of interest for 26 of the units at the Summit, Brooks said.

Construction

Mell Brooks, left, and Dan Heath explore the progress of construction Friday at the $25.6 million Summit by Morrison senior living community in Whitefield. A portion of the facility is expected to open in October while the rest will open in March 2018. JOHN KOZIOL/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT