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Farmhouse in Fairfax County park OK’d for disability programming, historical preservation

The Ellmore Farmhouse in Frying Pan Farm Park that ServiceSource plans to maintain and upgrade through a Resident Curator Program (courtesy ServiceSource)

A two-story farmhouse in Frying Pan Farm Park — built in 1891 — will get some upgrades as part of a historical preservation program, thanks to a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities.

Fairfax County supervisors voted Feb. 8 to permit the organization ServiceSource to proceed with running programming at the 12-room Ellmore Farmhouse in the Herndon area. The board previously approved the nonprofit for its Resident Curator Program last May with a 29-year lease.

The program allows county properties to be leased for a long-term period for no rent while resident curators maintain standards to preserve historic properties and promote them to the public.

“We are thrilled to have the full support from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for our Special Use Exception to utilize the Ellmore Farmhouse as a community integrated site for individuals who have disabilities to participate and engage with the activities at Frying Pan Farm Park!” Albert Wu, ServiceSource board member, said in a statement, noting that it will begin renovations with the help of Alexandria-based partner Pizzano Contractors.

The changes will create an adult day support center that is scheduled to operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. A “grab-and-go” food program could also be added to the 3,300-square-foot home.

Programming will help small groups of attendees participate in activities ranging from dance and art classes, reading groups, classes on computers, skill building and more.

The physical upgrades call for rehabilitating and renovating the home. The exterior wouldn’t be modified in a move to preserve its historic character while making minor improvements for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.

Interior changes include removing walls that were installed when the home served as a church, updating bathrooms and renovating a kitchen space. The organization has planned to add meeting and multipurpose rooms as well as a computer room and community room.

To make the plans a reality, the organization has raised most of a $660,000 fundraising goal and is still looking for donations.

“As a non-profit, we appreciate the support of our local community as we continue to raise funds to complete the renovations and make the home accessible while maintaining the historic properties of the home,” Wu said. “If anyone would like more information on how they can support our campaign to Do More At Ellmore, please contact us at giving@servicesource.org or check out our web page at www.servicesource.org/do-more-at-ellmore.”

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