Vibrant and intergenerational programming

Community meetings during the design phase

Ground breaking for construction



To create opportunities for healthy aging through social engagement, physical well-being, civic involvement, creativity and lifelong learning.

Ground breaking 9/27/19

See News Release Here



Project Evolution

Since the mid 2000's, the City of Portsmouth's Senior Subcommittee has done an excellent job moving through the process of identifying the best place for a senior center in a timely and effective manner.  That work resulted in the establishment of a Senior Center at the Community Campus.  The acquisition of the Doble property at Cottage Street (Fall 2018) represents the next chapter in the City's evolving and expanding programming for older adults.

In 2012, the Paul A. Doble Army Reserve Center on Cottage Street was identified as the Committee's first option to house a new senior center. It is a one-story building that includes a commercial-grade kitchen, individual classrooms and an assembly hall. The building is close to the city center, adjacent to the West End, and can be serviced effectively through public transportation on an existing route. The location also has adequate on-site parking.

The Vision is to be Portsmouth’s premiere community resource for mature adults. That involvement of adults in the community and senior center will inspire the community to understand the power of healthy aging to positively transform lives.  

Working together with the Community Development and Public Works Departments, the Senior Services Division of the Recreation Department is currently in the construction phase of an adaptive reuse of the Doble facility to accommodate existing Senior Activity Center Program. The new facility will provide more than double the amount of space available to the Senior Center in its current location and will incorporate some Council on Aging-recommended design features. Design work was undertaken by the firm of AECm Architects and Engineers in Newmarket, NH and Manypenny Murphy Architecture in Portsmouth, NH.

Funding for this project were provided from a combination of sources, including the City of Portsmouth, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funds and the Daniel Street Trust.

Project Timeline


Timeline and Next Steps

  • July 2013: Blue Ribbon Committee defines site needs for the new senior activity facility
  • Feb. 2015: Senior Subcommittee endorses plans to move forward with Doble facility 
  • April 2015: Conceptual plans for adaptive reuse 
  • March 2017: Phase I design initiated 
  • April 2017 to Sept. 2017: Stakeholder and community meetings for design phase
  • November 2018: Continued coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to obtain a transfer of the Paul S. Doble Army Reserve Center property to the City, City Council votes to accept the deed from the Federal Government
  • May 2019: City Council approved funding for the reconstruction of the new facility and initial construction begins
  • August 2019: General construction phase begins (8-10 month timeline to complete construction (expected in 2020) after mobilization)

Design and Engineering

The design and engineering firm AECm in Newmarket, NH has been working over the last several years on preparing conceptual designs for the new senior center. More recently in 2017 and 2018, age-friendly design work has also included support from Manypenny Murphy Architecture in Portsmouth and has been elevated to include technical specifications and details that will make the Portsmouth Senior Activity Center a premiere community resource for mature adults.

Public Participation

2017 Community Input Session
2017 Community Input Session