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Design underway for new Westfield Senior Center

Date: 8/19/2013

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD – The design process is underway for the new Westfield Senior Center that will be located on Noble Street, a project decades in the making.

The preliminary design of the building is complete. Over the course of the upcoming weeks, the minute details will be fine-tuned, and a more detailed plan will be unveiled, according to Tina Gorman, executive director of the Westfield Senior Center. The building two-story building is expected to be 18,000 to 22,000 square-feet. At this time, a cost estimate has yet to be determined.

“Dietz & Company Architects of Springfield is bringing the local flavor and Courtstreet Architects Inc. from Newton is bringing the senior center experience,” Gorman said regarding the initial design for the site.

“A top priority for me four years ago was to finally – after many years of promises left unfulfilled – find a location and get the senior center built. So here we are four years later and we have the location and are presently under design. A spring 2014 start is my goal. I couldn’t be more pleased for our nearly 9,000 seniors and the many generations to come, that the city will now have a facility we can all be proud of and that our seniors can call their own,” Mayor Daniel Knapik said.

Gorman addressed the concerns residents expressed about the need for adequate parking during the announcement unveiling the project that took place April 8. “We’re working with two and a half acres and a two-story structure is necessary to accommodate the maximum number of parking spaces,” she stated.

According to Gorman, the developers are determining the exact location where the building will stand on the property and are researching the possibility of moving a stormwater drainage pipe before committing to a footprint.

She said that some of the key features of the new center include private offices for each of the staff members to accommodate privacy needs when working with confidential information, a separate fitness/exercise room and several multipurpose rooms.

“Everything is progressing nicely. I feel really confident about the project,” Gorman said.