MV Center for Living opens doors at new Tisbury location

A spacious facility for seniors emerges from the carcass of the old VNA building.

A pass-through window is one of the new features at the Martha's Vineyard Center for Living. - Rich Saltzberg

The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living (CFL) opened its new facility on Breakdown Lane in Tisbury on Jan. 22 after an extensive remodeling project. The program provides daytime care and activities to seniors with memory challenges.

Fees for these services are fairly inexpensive — $40 per day and $30 per half-day, according to executive director Leslie Clapp. Low-income seniors who qualify may be able to have their costs paid through Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands, Ms. Clapp said.

Among the amenities of the new facility is a spacious main activity room with a kitchen connected with a pass-through window. The room hosts a popular program called Memory Cafe on Thursdays from 10 am to noon. Memory Cafe features music and sing-alongs, Clapp said. And once a month the Martha’s Vineyard Museum conducts interactive lectures at the Memory Cafe that feature artifacts and photography. Other amenities of the new building are a Sonos wireless sound system installed by Island musician Phil daRosa, a restroom with a tiled handicap shower, and a fenced-in patio with a pergola.

CFL moved out of its office in the Edgartown senior center about a month ago, Clapp said. They have ceded their space to the senior center, and its operations there have ceased. CFL programs are still operational at the Tisbury Senior Center, but will transfer to the new facility by Feb. 20, she said. Most seniors are making their way to the new facility via the Vineyard Transportation Authority (VTA), Clapp said, as part of an conveyance agreement between CFL and VTA. The remainder are dropped off by their families.

Clapp said she expects to hold a grand opening in March. She expressed a lot of gratitude to general contractor Mark Nicotera, who through his company, Trademark Services, completed the remodeling work by the target month of October 2017. He also was able to bang out the outdoor patio — an add-on — by that date as well, she said. She also praised the work of Somerville architect Marc Maxwell, who specializes in facilities for the memory-impaired, for his design work. Earlier estimates of the renovation place it at about $350,000. However, it is now believed to be a larger figure. Clapp said she did not have the figures on hand when she spoke with The Times. Dukes County manager Martina Thornton said on Monday that no county money was used to fund the renovation.

The new digs had once been a flagship project of the Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA) before it foundered in 2014. After an attempt to sell the building fell through, the VNA was forced into a structured foreclosure of the property with the Edgartown National Bank. In 2016, Dukes County bought the building from the bank for $1.4 million. Closing costs raised that figure by another $200,000, to $1.6 million. The county then leased the ground floor of the building to CFL. The generous lease terms charge no rent per se, but stipulate that CFL cover maintenance and operational costs for the building. The second-floor loft of the building has been on offer for over a year, but the county has yet to secure a tenant. Last month during a commissioners meeting, Thornton broached the idea of soliciting real estate agents to help find a tenant.