By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The City Council will have an opportunity to act on a proposal for a new Senior Center before the end of the year. At its Nov. 21 meeting, the council was informed via a communication from Mayor Nancy Stevens that she will be providing it with a recommendation in December that outlines possible plans for a new site.
Legal advertisements seeking Requests for Proposals (RFP) have been posted in the media. Property is being sought that can accommodate approximately a 14,000-square-foot senior center or a building that can also allow for future expansion. The property should be able to accommodate parking for approximately 70 spaces, including handicap parking and an outdoor patio area.
Stevens will form a committee to evaluate each submission to see if it meets or exceeds the criteria. In her communication to the council, she said she is prepared to seek the expertise of a professional such as an appraiser, architect or engineer, to help complete the process. Ultimately, the mayor will make a recommendation to the council and request an appropriation for purchase or lease of a new property.
Many of the councilors had attended a meeting held Oct. 26 by the Council on Aging at the Senior Center's present 250 Main St. site for a presentation of changes that seniors would like to see in a new center. Requests included not only a new location but also additional and adequate space for administrative offices, programs, events and storage. Stevens was not able to attend that meeting, but a letter from her was shared that outlined recommendations for two possible sites currently owned by the city – the Bigelow School, located on Orchard Street, adjacent to Ward Park, and the old landfill site on Bolton Street.
Council President Arthur Vigeant, who is also the mayor-elect, has also proposed converting an old meetinghouse at 86 Pleasant St. into a new senior center.
The RFP package is available at the Procurement Office, in the City Hall Legal Department, 4th Floor, 140 Main St. Chief Procurement Officer Beverly Sleeper will accept proposals until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20.