LETTER: Elderly Services Director Terri Marciello Makes The Case For A New Senior Center, Senior Population To Double Over 20 Year-Period

Dear Residents of Wilmington,

As our slogan goes – “It’s our Time” and what an exciting time it has been. It started back in 2016, when Assistant Town Manager, at the time, Kendra Amaral and Planning/Conservation Director, Valerie Gingrich came to our Elderly Commissioners meeting on September 15, 2016. They discussed and shared the information for the Facilities Master Plan for the Town. This meeting set the seed that there was a need for a new senior center and the Elderly Commission anxiously awaited the results of the Facilities Master Plan. On January 18, 2018 – a presentation of the Facilities Master Plan was given to the Town of Wilmington, in that presentation, a new Senior Center was seen as a “major municipal facility investment” and “to be advanced in 2022”. This information was the steppingstone that got plans in motion for a new senior center.

There were a group of older adults that are referred to as the “Focus Group”. This group started to visit local new and/or renovated senior centers in the area. At these visits, there was a list of questions that were developed and a summary on each visit was presented to the group – construction costs, square footage, number of elders in community, parking outside space – just to give a few examples. We then took a closer look at concerns of the current senior center.

The Elderly Services Commission presented these findings to the Wilmington Board of Selectmen on December 16, 2019. The following was the history the Commission shared about the Buzzell Senior Center. It was repurposed in 1986 from the Buzzell School that was built in 1935. This 87-year-old building is showing its age – and the programs and events have outgrown the space. In fact, we have 2 programs that need to be held out of the Senior Center and held at the Fourth of July Building. The population of Wilmington older adults 60 and older in 2010, was 4,045. By 2020, the population increased by 1,969 or 49% for a total of 6,014 elders. The projected elder population for 2030 is 7,979 — a 1,965 or 24.6% increase from 2020.

In conclusion, the elderly population in Wilmington is projected to nearly double from 2010 to 2030 — by 3,934 or 97% in a 20-year period. It is time to have a new Senior Center for the Town of Wilmington. As you can see from above there has been a lot of time and dedication from the residents to show that need. Due to the growth of our population and the inability to maintain programs and events in the constraints of our current building, we ask that you say YES to a new Senior Center.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 19, 2022 (meeting starts at 9:00AM – Doors open at 7:30AM) at the Wilmington High School Auditorium. Our theme for the Wilmington Department of Elderly Services is “Better Together” – lets continue to pull together as a strong community on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Thank you for your support.

Terri Marciello
Director of Elderly Services

New Senior Center

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