In 1967 the Montpelier Senior Center opened its doors at 18 Barre St. (formerly Montpelier Elks Club) with 60 members and a budget of $2,000. Membership increased to 200 by 1969 and the budget grew to $4,000. In 1972 the Center’s purpose was “to provide all Montpelier area senior citizens with facilities conducive to providing enjoyment, fun, relaxation, meaningful activity, and to serve as a focal point to provide information as to resources and various services available to them.”
By 1975 membership swelled to over 500. The Center moved to 28 School Street “with more usable space and more parking,” and began to offer help with tax preparation, Social Security, help with food stamps, housing, consumer fraud, health & nutrition, transportation and legal aid.
In 1981 the Center opened at 58 Barre Street and began serving meals that were prepared on site for members. In 1986 over 900 meals were served. In the 90’s programs and membership continued to grow and expand.
In 2004 the Center began offering diversified programs at low fees. In 2005 over 2,400 meals were served. A few years later the eligibility age dropped from 55 to 50. A feasibility study by Harold & Associates stated “MSAC will continue to grow, based on demographics as well as the popularity of programs.” MSAC developed a new Mission Statement. In 2007, membership rose to 800.
In May of 2009 at a meeting of roughly 100 MSAC members, with the Mayor and City Council, there was a unanimous vote to keep the Center at 58 Barre St. The Center became a priority of the Council which began to oversee administration and operations. In December a fire forced the closure of the building and a relocation to St. Michael’s School next door.
In 2010 the City Planning Department began the renovation planning for the building utilizing the upper floors for 14 apartments of mostly senior housing, with a redeveloped facility for the Center to occupy on the ground floor as it has for 29 years, and access to two large mezzanine rooms for classes and activities. The Capital Campaign is launched to close the $200,000 gap to finish the renovations.