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Construction of Holyoke Senior Center to start this month

Date: 9/7/2011

Sept. 7, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — Construction will begin this month on the new senior center with the expected completion within 12 to 14 months, according to Council on Aging Executive Director Kathy Bowler.

Bowler explained to Reminder Publications that adjustments to the plans of the $8.1 million center had to be made because the construction bids came in about 10 percent more than the expected cost.

“Our focus was maintaining the integrity of the project,” she said. The changes will not impact the design or function.”

Features such as movable partitions to divide rooms were eliminated at this point and will be added after the building is completed, she said. Some finished materials were substituted for ones costing less and the landscape design was also revised. The “green” roof will not be installed at this time either.

Another change was in the size of the parking lot, Bowler added, which actually pleased city officials concerned about the amount of storm water runoff the larger lot would have created.

She said making the changes was a “long, thoughtful process.”

The soil remediation work at the site has been completed, she noted with the removal of soil that had contained debris such as asbestos from the foundation of the former high school that was once located there.

The Friends of the Holyoke Council on Aging are continuing to work on completing its goal of raising $500,00 for the project and currently are at $365,000. Bowler said the group is “anxious to finish.”

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