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A Schoolhouse Reborn

Scarborough, ME - The historic Bessey School in Scarborough, Maine, which originally opened back in 1927, has been transformed into Bessey Commons senior apartments to accommodate a different generation of New Englanders. Although many of the building's historical features have been preserved to maintain the feeling of the original schoolhouse, it has also been significantly redesigned to foster active independent living for seniors. The result is a beautiful integration of old and new.

Cynthia Milliken Taylor, President of Housing Initiatives of New England, the developer of Bessey Commons, was once a student at Bessey, as was her father before her. She probably never imagined, as she sat in class taking notes, that one day she would work with town officials to reinvent that same building as a much-needed residential complex that will benefit seniors and families in the community.

"Watching the transformation of my childhood schoolhouse was remarkable!" says Cynthia. "It's very rare to be able to see your dream literally take shape, day by day. For that I feel privileged. And," she continues, "it really does feel good to give something lasting back to Scarborough. As a responsible community, I believe that we have to look after our elders, just as they have looked after us for so long."

Renovated to create affordable local housing for residents aged 55 and over, Bessey Commons offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including: walking trails, exercise room, athletic facilities for a host of sports, an outdoor patio for cookouts, adult ed courses, arts and crafts, bridge and bingo, and concerts right across the street at Scarborough Memorial Park. There are also many conveniences such as a beauty salon, barber shop, grocery store, banks, employment opportunities, and the Maine Medical Center, all just minutes away.

Bessey Commons is also designed with accessibility features for those who need them and provides a service coordinator for residents who may seek assistance from local community agencies. It also boasts many green building innovations and free Internet access.

Scheduled to open in September 2008, Bessey Commons is located on Route One in Scarborough, ME. The greatly anticipated senior residential community will provide 54 apartments. For more information regarding Bessey Commons, please call 207-885-8801, or visit