Marlborough – Finding a new site to replace the current Senior Center, located at 250 Main St., has been one of Mayor Arthur Vigeant's goals since taking office in January.
That goal is a bit closer, now that the City Council enthusiastically endorsed Vigeant's proposal for a new facility that would be located in a section of Ward Park at its Nov. 26 meeting.
The matter will next be reviewed by the Operations and Oversight Committee, and the mayor's request for $500,000 to fund costs associated with design and engineering plans will be reviewed by the Finance Committee.
The proposed site would provide a downtown location with an ease of access off Granger Boulevard and would be able to accommodate at least 70 to 100 parking spaces,? according to a communication to the council from Vigeant. Because it would be built on city-owned property, the city could avoid spending money on costly land purchases, he stressed.
City Council President Patricia Pope, who has visited many area senior centers with Vigeant, applauded the mayor for his perseverance in choosing a site which she said “is very functional and a good use of the space.”
Ward 7 City Councilor Donald Landers, Ward 6 City Councilor Edward Clancy and Ward 3 City Councilor Matt Elder expressed an interest in serving on the Building Committee. Also serving on that committee will be Public Facilities Director John Ghiloni, Executive Aide Michael Berry, Council on Aging (COA) Chair of the Board of Directors James Confrey, local businessman Joe Trella, and a representative from the City Council who will be appointed by Pope. Ghiloni will also chair the Designer Selection Board.
Ward 3 Councilor Matt Elder also requested a neighborhood meeting in the area to allow his constituents to express any concerns they may have about the proposed site.
Confrey said he is in full agreement with the mayor's choice.
“I think it is a very good location, close to downtown and next to Ward Park, which provides a walking park and plenty of parking,” he said.
Confrey said he will meet with members of the Friends of the Seniors and coordinate their thoughts and an action plan for the new building.
A year ago, the COA hosted a meeting to share its suggestions with the mayor, City Council and local seniors on what it felt the new Senior Center should have. Those changes included additional and adequate space for administrative offices, programs, events and storage; handicap accessibility; plentiful parking; and a transportation plan.