OSSIPEE — A newly formed group is seeking to raise $60,000 to convert a building in downtown Ossipee into a community center for people of all ages.
Ossipee Area Community Center board started to come together in a series of emails in March. The founding members are President Robert Deyab, Co-President Melissa Ames, Vice President Roland Millette, Treasurer Misty Ryder, Secretary Eric Moran and Assistant Treasurer Sarah Scale.
Deyab, an electrician who owns Deyab Electric, owns the building that would host the community center. It's a 2,187-square-foot building located at 26 Moultonville Road behind Smoking Guns BBQ & Butcher Shop and accessible through Sunset Place, a private development.
Moran, who works for White Horse Addiction Center with locations in Ossipee and North Conway, said one of the purposes of this center is to prevent people from falling through the cracks and needing White Horse's service in the first place.
"Let's help build lives before White Horse is trying to rebuild a life," said Moran, adding the center's organizers hope to show Ossipee what it's capable of. "I talked to so many kids who say they can't because their family hasn't ever done (anything). So let's break that cycle. Let's show them that they can."
The center, however, would not just serve children but people of all ages ranging from pre-schoolers to seniors in Ossipee and surrounding towns like Freedom, Effingham and Tamworth.
"The goal is to give them a central place and we can teach them life skills such as, personal finances, computer skills and trades," said Millette.
When completed, it will have a computer area, a lecture room, a game room and a kitchen. Deyab said the building sits on a 2-acre parcel.
The building used to be occupied by the now defunct Independent Color Press. Deyab acquired in in 2016. He plans to keep using part of the building.
The group is in the process of getting their non-profit status.
"Ultimately, we've got to raise funds possibly up to $60,000 to get the building up to standard 2020 code," said Deyab, adding the entrances and bathrooms need to be made handicapped accessible along with some plumbing and electrical work.
The group hopes to hold a fundraising barbecue in August at the center but it's unclear if that will be possible due to COVID-19.