LAWRENCE, MA – A key facility that supports charity work in the Merrimack Valley is set to receive a major upgrade, with project assistance from Siena Construction. Ishah House, a transitional housing facility located at 155 Franklin Street in Lawrence, will undergo an interior remodel in the coming months. The Victorian home includes five residential apartments, a first-floor office, and basement, totaling approximately 7,700 square feet. Opened in 2015 under a Pilot transitional program for single, at-risk, and unhoused women, the 2.5 story Ishah House is operated by Lazarus House Ministries.

Lazarus House Ministries is a faith-based non-profit charity serving people struggling with poverty in greater Lawrence. Founded in 1982, their impactful outreach assists families with food, clothing, housing, and other resource services for many community members in need throughout the surrounding Merrimack Valley.

Architectural plans for the Ishah House upgrades were created by Andover-based design firm Lagrasse Yanowitz & Feyl (LYF) Architects. The project calls for complete demolition of the interior space as well as exterior upgrades:

  • Interior – The ground floor will be remodeled with new system and finishes, creating a refreshed space for offices, event room, living/dining room, kitchen, bathroom, pantry, stairways, and common corridors. This will involve removal of existing non-bearing walls and all existing ceiling finishes throughout all levels. New ceiling and wall layouts will provide reconfigured apartment units, with living areas, kitchens, and baths. This will also require new MEPs, paint, and trim, millwork, furniture, and appliances. Basement upgrades include new drainage, framing, and extensive MEP improvements.
  • Exterior – The existing gabled roof will be upgraded, with shingle replacement, water barrier membrane, and reframing of existing rafters for new skylight openings. All existing windows will be replaced with new vinyl window units.

Siena’s Senior Project Manager Michael Schein will work in close collaboration with Lazarus House Ministries, the design team at LYF Architects, and Peabody-based construction management firm MRG Construction to ensure design requirements, building specifications, construction costs and schedule requirements are met during the construction phase.

“It’s an honor to be chosen to assist the Lazarus House on this important community-based initiative,” said Siena Construction President Terrence Hayes. “The Ishah House has a storied history that has contributed life-changing impacts to people in need. We are proud to be a part of the project that will ensure the continuation of that that tradition of service and giving.”

Siena will be documenting the renovation progress throughout construction. Check back here at Siena’s website to follow our project updates. Take a photo tour of the space’s current conditions here.