By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Calendar House Building Committee (CHBC) met last month to consider two options for the senior center upgrade. Plans are being finalized as officials continue to tweak the building plan to accommodate everything that the center offers local residents.
Residents and taxpayers voted last fall on a referendum item that supported $9.4 million in bonds for costs related to the design, construction, furnishing, and equipping of a new senior center, along with the demolition of the current Calendar House Senior Center.
The center serves as a multipurpose facility for Southington residents ages 55-years and older. The facility hosts community activities and offers a full schedule of free classes, sports including golf, bocce ball, and badminton, and a computer center.
Construction is expected to being next year on the new senior center, on the site of the current Calendar House, at 388 Pleasant Street. The center will remain open during construction of the new facility, and no services will be interrupted, said CHBC Chair Paul Champagne.
The CHBC began with three options (A, B, and C), but decided against Option C, because it had two levels, said Champagne. The remaining options, A and B, are both one-floor facilities. Option A is 23,100 square feet, while Option B is slightly larger, at 22,600 square feet.
At the June 15 meeting, Dennis Rioux, architect from BL Companies in Meriden, presented revised plans for the two options. The architect and committee agreed to some more revisions, including interior room changes. During public communications, Mark White, Chairman of the Senior Citizen Commission, requested revised designs of the computer lab to accommodate their current programming. Mary Roberge, who works in the finance department at the Calendar House, also requested that the design include a financial office, and that the designated craft room needs a sink added into the plan.
Champagne said they are planning to have a lot of open space with natural light, and the space will include a multipurpose room, a game room, classrooms, and a recreation room.
Once the plans are finalized, they will be submitted to KBE Construction Management in Farmington. Town Attorney Mark Sciota noted at the meeting that the plans need to be submitted to KBE as soon as possible, so that the town can go out for bids for the construction.
The cost estimates will determine what square footage is most affordable for the building.
Champagne said the committee is hoping to have construction started by late fall.