PERU — Four months after the Rumford Senior Center learned it would have to find a new home, it has finally settled into a new location at the former Peru Elementary School building.

Center President Barbara Morse said the nonprofit group, formerly located at 50 Congress St., had a seamless transition and is getting organized.

“The transition to the new building was very good,” said Morse, who has been with the Senior Center since February 2012. “We feel like we’re finally getting back into the swing of things.”

On Aug. 21, the Greater Rumford Community Center informed the Senior Center that its rent would be increasing to $1,000 a month shortly after the second budget vote on July 23.

The rent hike, according to building owner and Greater Rumford Community Center Chairman Gary Dolloff, was due to the town rejecting the proposed GRCC budget during the June election. He later explained that the GRCC had an agreement with the Senior Center that allowed it to pay minimal rent, and that the GRCC had to start making “every inch of their building profitable.”

Morse told Rumford Senior Center members at a special meeting that Nick Waugh, chairman of the Friends of the Old Peru School Committee, offered to allow the Senior Center to move into the former Peru Elementary School for $350 a month.


Morse told the members that it was “as good of an offer as we can get right now.”

Now, three months from the day the Rumford Senior Center approved the move, Morse said that she can’t see the group moving anywhere else.

“Sometimes, things happen for a reason, and I think we couldn’t have asked for a better place,” Morse said. “I think we’ve been very successful here.”

“We also have heat in the building, which was something that was missing from the building on Congress Street,” Morse said. “We would be huddling in our sweaters at the old building, trying anything to stay warm. We don’t have to worry about that here. The heat is included in the rent.”

And, unlike a lot of other places the seniors looked at, the Peru building has a kitchen.

The Rumford Senior Center started a bi-weekly luncheon earlier in 2013, to which the public was invited.


“We also have ice cream socials and Valentine’s Day events that we host at the Senior Center, and all of that is dependent on a kitchen,” Morse said.

The Rumford Senior Center, according to Treasurer Marjorie Johnson, has a membership of 170 people, with many non-Rumford residents attending.

All of the programs that were run at the Congress Street building are being run at the new building, including Tuesday bingo.

“I think in January, we’ll have a better plan in place,” Morse said. “We’ll be more prepared and more organized. I’m hoping to get things back on track, because we’re very happy here.”

Revisiting the top stories of 2013

The Sun Journal staff writers and photographers have updated the top stories in our communities.

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