By JEN CARDINES
Big news struck for the Calendar House Building Committee (CHBC) on Friday, Sept. 23 when House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D – Berlin/Southington) and State Representative David Zoni (D – Southington) announced in a press release that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve a $5 million grant-in-aid to the town of Southington for the construction of a new senior center.
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.
This past summer, the CHBC decided on a design plan for the new building.
With this grant, a new 22,000 square foot senior center will be built to benefit the Southington seniors. Town Manager Garry Brumback said that the grant will create a major tax relief for town residents.
“The most significant impact the $5 million has is that it will directly reduce the property taxes that would have been required to be increased to pay for all the costs associated with the project,” said Brumback. “Now we won’t have to use all $9.4 million from property, but will have over half offset by state bonding funds.”
CHBC Chair Paul Champagne said that the new building will be in the northwest corner of the existing property, bordering the corner of Hobart and Pleasant streets. The Calendar House will be open during the construction process.
When the new facility is ready for use, the old one will be demolished.
“This funding will enable the town to build a senior center that our seniors deserve,” Aresimowicz said in the press release. “The new building will be able to cater to our ever growing elder population and will be utilized and enjoyed by our current and next generation senior citizens of Southington.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to see the final design plan in October, and construction is to begin in March 2017.
Brumback said that the town is on track to finish the project as scheduled in 2018, and he is hoping to stay on schedule moving forward.