Wilmington Senior Center Presents Update On Future Of A Potential New Facility

Below is an announcement in the latest Wilmington Senior Center Newsletter:

WILMINGTON, MA — The Senior Center Building Committee, consisting of members of the Permanent Building Committee, Board of Selectmen (Greg Bendel), Finance Committee (Theresa Manganelli) and Terri Marciello, Director of Elderly Services, has been working with the project architect, Dietz and Co., to define the programmatic needs and space requirements for our new senior center.

On July 1, representatives of the Senior Center Building Committee and our Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) Dan Pallotta took a field trip to Westfield and Ludlow to meet our architect and visit two senior centers they recently designed. It was an opportunity to see some building layouts and ask our architect and each of the local senior center Director at Ludlow and Westfield specific questions. The trip was informative and along with trips last year by a senior center focus group to several local senior centers, it will help formulate our ideas for our new senior center.

On July 27, the Committee had a project meeting at Town Hall with the architect to review and discuss their analysis of space needs for our new senior center and to review the four potential sites for the building. This 3 plus hour meeting was televised live on WCTV. Hopefully our future meetings will also be televised live. There were several seniors in the audience.

According to the architect, our current building has approximately 4,700 square feet of usable space. The analysis of future space requirements indicates we need approximately 14,800 square feet of usable space. The architect used a 20 percent factor to allow for corridors and partitions to determine a gross building area of approximately 18,000 square feet. In the Facility Master Plan Report completed in 2018, the consultant had a preliminary estimate of 14,000 square feet. The Committee made the architect aware that the use of outdoor space for activities will also be important in the final design.

Part of the architect’s scope of work is to review four sites to determine the best location for our new building. The four locations are the existing Town Hall property, the former Whitefield School property, the open space adjacent to St. Dorothy’s Church and the current senior center/former Swain School property on Middlesex Avenue. At the July 27 meeting, the architect presented site plans of the four locations showing property lines, existing structures, wetlands and available area for a potential building. Each of the sites needs additional investigation for criteria such as environmental issues, access/parking, land for outside activities, conflicts with other property users, utilities and site constraints.

The next step in the process is a joint meeting with the Town Hall/School Administration Building Committee and both architects on Tuesday, September 7 at 6:30pm in the High School’s Large Instruction Room. It should be noted that since the Permanent Building Committee members are on both committees there will be continuity. The purpose of this meeting will be to review all four sites and come to a consensus as to the best location for each proposed new building. It will be a public meeting and we would encourage seniors to attend the meeting. We expect the meeting to be televised live by WCTV.

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