Our Story


In December 2009 a catastrophic fire forced the Montpelier Senior Activity Center at 58 Barre Street to close its doors.  Staff and programs have moved temporarily to the old St. Michael’s School next door.

Montpelier Senior Activity Center On Fire! (Times Argus/Stefan Hard)

Montpelier Fire Dept. at the burning Senior Center. Photo Stefan Hard/TA.

58 Barre Street after the fire

58 Barre Street after the fire. Photo by Central VT ABE.

58 Barre Street Burned Building

58 Barre Street Burned Building interior. Photo by Kate Sprout.



  • Heating and electricity used to cost over $38,000 annually.
  • There was no insulation,
  • …And only single pane windows, and an inadequate roof.
  • One thermostat controlled the heat for the 25,000 square feet.
  • Even before interior finish, the cost of meeting present building codes was more than $3 million.


Color Rendering of New Building

Drawing by Gossens Bachman Architects. Color added by Rachael Rice.

  • The building will provide low-cost housing to seniors. The funding for that housing will help pay the building code upgrade.
  • Two large rooms on the mezzanine will be renovated for classes, activities & events.
  • A brand new kitchen is planned,
  • …As well as a new roof,  solar panels, a pellet boiler, sprinklers & alarm systems, and a long-needed elevator, and even air conditioning!
  • We will have expanded capability to partner with other organizations that support seniors by offering meals, transportation, and access to health & wellness services.

MSAC has served thousands of people for nearly 50 years.  The Center is an integral part of our community.  Nearly half of local residents are over age 50, and hence directly eligible for MSAC membership themselves, as well as older family members.

Now more than ever seniors in our community need the Center, and now more than ever the Center needs you.

The total renovation is nearly $5 million; of that, the MSAC portion is $1.8 million.  Most of this funding has been secured through insurance, endowment, and grants,  and construction started on schedule July 2011, but we still face a gap of $200,000 that needs to be filled.

The goal of the Campaign is to raise the remaining $200,000 by June 30, 2012.

Update: As of the end of June 2012 we have more than achieved our goal, with $230,000 in donations and pledges! Wonderful! Thank You!

However, although the building is finished, the Center still currently lacks a kitchen and much equipment needed to function normally. You can still make a tax-deductible charitable contribution by sending a check or money order to:

MSAC Donations
Montpelier Senior Activity Center
58 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Thank you for your generosity and kindness in helping us finish the job.

Funding Sources & Uses

Funding Sources & Uses (Note these are planning numbers; actual cost is $1.76M.)

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