Makeover for Middleton House
By James Card
The Middleton House has new drywall, new electric, new plumbing, new siding, new everything.
“It’s essentially a new house,” said Bob Adams, executive director of Foundations for Living.
The Middleton House at 1310 Royalton St. will serve women in the community who are looking to get a new start on their lives. It is a place to stay while looking for jobs and permanent housing.
The only things left are the finishing touches: painting, cupboards, cabinets, trim and fixtures. On the outside, the wheelchair-accessible ramp is getting rebuilt and the gravel driveway will get paved with new blacktop. The plan is to be open in November.
The lodging house will have six beds upstairs plus a bathroom and living room. A bedroom will be downstairs for the overnight staffer. There will be two paid positions: the overnight staffer and a house manager.
The rest of the downstairs will be a kitchen, bathroom, an office and a resource center that is open to the public two days per week. It will be open to both men and women. It will be a commons area that will have a computer and place to hold life-skills classes and meetings. After 4 p.m., this area will be closed to men and the house will only be open to women.
There is a basement that will be a laundry room and storage area.
The house was formerly the Waupaca Pregnancy Information Center and later Hair of the Dog Pet Grooming. During renovation they had to tear out a couple dog washing stations.
They started construction in early spring. The house was stripped down to the studs and beams. The age of the house is unknown and the basement has old stone walls.
“It’s old enough that the insulation was sawdust and newspapers,” said Adams.
Asbestos was present and they hired a professional service to remove it.
Women can stay as long as they need and as long as they abide by the program guidelines and rules. Adams estimates the average stay is around six months.
Residents must pay a program fee to give them a sense of ownership of their progress.
Behind the house is a garage with matching new siding. That space will be used for storage and holding classes on car maintenance and workshop skills that are led by volunteers from the community.
Doug and Florence Middleton donated the house to Foundations for Living. The total budget of the renovation was $220,000. They raised $90,000. Adams said they will still raise funds and seek grants to cover the expenses.
Their loan is through Farmer’s State Bank. Adams said they were good partners to work with, along with the city administration with help to navigate zoning rules.